BEIJING: Novak Djokovic crushed his age-old rival Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday to seal his sixth China Open title and extend his unbeaten run at the Beijing tournament.
The world number one underlined his superiority in men’s tennis as he thrashed a fading Nadal for his 29th win at an event he also won in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slam finals this year and he shows no signs of slowing down at the end of the season, after losing only 18 games in his romp to the Chinese title.
The Serb, who has never lost a final in China, has also three Shanghai Masters titles to his name and he momentarily tripped himself up as he thanked the Beijing crowd.
“This definitely has been the most successful tournament in my career. I’ve won the Australian Open but Shanghai — sorry, Beijing — has been a lucky place for me,” stumbled the Serb.
“I played a great match, great tournament overall and I continued playing well today,” he added.
In the longest rivalry in men’s tennis history, Djokovic moves to 22 won, 23 lost — but with seven victories out of their last eight meetings, including this year’s French Open quarter-finals.
With his 29th victory at the China Open, 10-time Slam champion Djokovic is also closing on Nadal’s record for winning starts to a tournament after he racked up 31 before his first defeat at the French Open.
“He’s having one of the most incredible seasons in the history of our sport, so congrats to him,” said Nadal. “For me it’s been a very positive week, I’ve been improving in every single match.”
Muguruza beats Bacsinszky for Beijing title
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza underlined her rise in world tennis on Sunday as she beat Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets to win her second career title at the China Open in Beijing.
This year’s Wimbledon finalist overcame a slow start by both players to clinch it 7-5, 6-4 in 95 minutes and soar to a projected fourth in the world rankings — just one point behind Maria Sharapova.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2015.
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