Novak Djokovic (Player Profile) may have given up the top spot in ATP Rankings, but he remains the king of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Beijing as he defended the title to lift his fourth China Open trophy. The top seed was keeping Rafael Nadal (Player Profile) at bay throughout the final match and did not let him create any break point chances over the course of eighty-seven minutes the highest ranked players spent on the court of a fully-packed National Tennis Stadium.
Nole took over the initiative straight away by stealing the Spaniard’s serve in the second game and consolidated the break with a hold to love. He continued in the same fashion as he surrendered only a couple of points on his serve in the opener which he closed out by converting the set point number one.
The following set resembled the previous one with the Serb breaking in the opening game and coming close to double the lead two games later, yet this time Rafa escaped the danger and got on the board. Even so, he was facing an up-hill battle as his rival’s serving still left nothing to be desired – Novak went 3-1 up after another love hold by smashing two of his five aces in the process. Nadal managed to win two rallies on the opponent’s serve for the first time at 3-2, but he was still far from causing this year’s Australian Open conqueror any serious problems, especially since he was conceding unusually high amount of forehand unforced errors. Djokovic went on to create a triple championship point before putting away the final service winner to end the Spaniard’s 22-match winning streak by beating him 6-3, 6-4. He now has a 38-21 finals record, whilst he improved the head-to-head score against Nadal to 16-22.
“I managed to stay tough and not drop my concentration, which I think [happened] in both Montréal and at the US Open in the important moments,” said Djokovic. “I learned my lesson. It was a few very tough and close matches that I lost against Rafa on hard courts, especially the last one in the US Open final.”
“I was not able to have any chance when I was returning during the whole match,” Nadal commented on the defeat. “He had the ball staying very low. It was very difficult to create spin on this ball. He was able to hit all the balls where he wanted. When that’s happening against a player like Novak, you are dead. You don’t have not one chance.”