(Reuters) – World number one Rafa Nadal beat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 4-6 6-1 in the China Open semi-finals on Saturday to reach his ninth final of the year.

The top-seeded Spaniard took control from the start, winning 13 consecutive points on his own serve and breaking Dimitrov to seal the first set in 35 minutes.

Nadal led the second 3-1 but world number eight Dimitrov fought back to level at 4-4 before clinching the set.

Bulgarian Dimitrov’s eye-catching shots were not enough to overcome the 31-year-old, however, and Nadal broke serve three times in the deciding set.

The 16-times grand slam winner is on course to win his 75th singles title and will face Australian Nick Kyrgios or German Alexander Zverev in the final on Sunday.