NICK Kyrgios' goal of qualifying for the season-ending ATP finals is alive after beating Alexander Zverev to reach the China Open final.
The in-form Australian won 6-3 7-5 to set up a showdown with world No.1 Rafael Nadal in tonight's decider, starting 8pm (AEST), aiming for a third career win over the Spanish great.
The 22-year-old, who has now won nine of his last 11 matches, has dropped just one set in Beijing where he will look to repeat his quarter-final victory over Nadal in Cincinnati Open in August.
The result over fellow rising star Zverev pushed him to 15th spot in the ATP Race To London and contest the ATP finals in November. The top 10 qualify.
Helping his cause is the fact Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, all ranked above Kyrgios, are sidelined with injury.
In reaching his ninth final of the year, Kyrgios registered his third victory in four encounters with the 20-year-old German Zverev.
Sixteen-time grand slam champion Nadal beat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 4-6 6-1 in his semi-final.
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