World No. 1 Garbine Muguruza and reigning champion Agnieszka Radwanska are both out, leaving world No. 2 Halep as the favourite.
But Kyrgios showed his best side for a Beijing crowd that lapped up his fearsome shot-making and showmanship.
"He has a massive future ahead and I'm really good friends with him so it's always fun playing him".
"But if you add that he is playing very well now from the baseline, he is one of the toughest opponents you can meet". "I did just my game and my style, and I was very consistent and solid as well".
"My game plan today was I was going to play big and not let him dictate at all, and that's what happened".
"My dream is true now, in that moment you can not believe 100 percent that it's happening, so I was in tears a little bit", she said.
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"I think I played pretty OK tennis".
Earlier in the day, Dimitrov further strengthened his bid for a spot at the Nitro ATP Finals - to be held at The O2 in London from November 12 to November 19 - by advancing to the Beijing semi-finals.
Despite the American managing to hit an impressive 22 aces in the quarter-final, Nadal was dominant and won in straight sets 6-4 7-6.
Kyrgios says he wants to show how far he has come and the 19th-ranked Australian did just that as he bustled past Zverev, the world number four from Germany, in an entertaining and high-quality semi-final.
The other side of the draw will see Czech Petra Kvitova take on either Ukraine's Elina Svitolina or France's Caroline Garcia.
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