Mon, 12 Oct, 2015, 10:13
Novak Djokovic sent Rafael Nadal packing in ruthless fashion 6-2, 6-2 to win his sixth China Open crown in seven years in Beijing on Sunday.
Djokovic made a blistering start to the match and never looked back after breaking Nadal in the opening game before holding serve easily enough to carve out a 2-1 lead in the opening set. Nadal held his serve at the second and third time of asking but Djokovic broke him once again in the seventh game before holding serve to take the first set in 45 minutes.
Nadal called for the trainer for lengthy treatment on his right foot after Djokovic levelled at 1-1 in the second set and the Serbian pounced immediately by breaking the Spaniard in his next two service games to lead 4-1. The world No1 was given a reminder of Nadal’s quality when the Spaniard unleashed an audacious passing shot of his own but, after saving two championship points, he could not stop the Serb from marching to victory in 90 minutes as he sent down his seventh ace of the final.
This was the 45th meeting between the great rivals and Djokovic’s victory means he has now won seven of their last eight meetings – although Nadal still leads 23-22 overall. Regardless of how much Nadal’s foot injury hampered his ability to compete in Sunday’s contest, the nature of this one-sided victory will worry Djokovic’s rivals and he admitted that Beijing is a happy hunting ground after securing a fourth straight China Open crown with his 29th consecutive victory at the tournament.
“This definitely has been my most successful tournament in my career,” Djokovic said. “I’ve won the Australian Open five times but Beijing has been a lucky place for me. Back in 2008 I remember at the Olympic Games when Rafa won the gold medal (Djokovic won bronze) we had some memorable moments and that’s when the tradition of tennis in this city started.
“I keep on coming back here with positive memories and positive memories on the court obviously and the fans are very loyal and supportive and give me strength and reason to come back every year.”
Garbiñe Muguruza was made to work hard before beating Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-4 to win the women’s title. The Spanish fifth seed, the 2015 Wimbledon finalist, struggled to impose herself on her 12th-seeded Swiss opponent in the opening set where there were seven breaks of serve.
Muguruza took the opening set 7-5 before breaks were traded early in the second set, the Spaniard then making her move in game nine before serving out to take the set 6-4 and with it the title.
“For me, to be able to come and win the tournament after losing in the finals in Wuhan last week is a great achievement,” Muguruza said. “It’s amazing, and I can’t wait to come back and defend my title next year.”