Rafael Nadal was assured of taking the No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic after advancing to the final of the China Open on Saturday when Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic retired with a back injury.
The Spaniard was a break up at 4-2 in the opening set of their semifinal when Berdych retired soon after taking an injury timeout. Djokovic, the defending champion, earned a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 victory over fifth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the other semifinal.
Even if he loses to Djokovic in the final Sunday, Nadal will still sit atop the rankings.
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