The loss was a big blow to Berdych's campaign to make it to the Nitto ATP Finals.
Handed a hard draw, the Spaniard was almost eliminated in the first round at the hands of Frenchman Lucas Pouille, saving two match points in a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5 win. Dimitrov followed that up with his first-ever win over Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 (5), 7-5 after trailing in both sets. However, Isner is in for a tough match as he has yet to beat Nadal in their seven clashes.
Dimitrov and Nadal have met on nine previous occasions - of which the Spaniard has won eight - but the Bulgarian's only victory over the world number one came in the Beijing quarter-finals a year ago. Nadal has an outstanding 2017 where he won two Grand Slam crowns at the French Open and the US Open.
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The French and United States open champion has won five titles this season and is closing in on the year-end No.1 ranking. "I know I have to play my best to have my chances", Nadal, who has won all their six meetings, said. He's playing well. He had a good victory today. It's going to be a big one and big test for me. "I hope to be ready for it".
Dimitrov had a tricky opener as he was drawn to face the in-form Damir Dzumhur in the first round, with the Bosnian rattling off 25 wins in his last 31 matches. They face off for the second time this year having met at the start of the year in Melbourne, and the enthusiastic fans in Beijing will have a good show to watch as the two battle tomorrow afternoon at the National Tennis Stadium. So many times I was close or a couple of times I was cramping.
"I think Grigor is a player always with a great attitude, with a positive character. A lot of the work is paying off".