World No.1 Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2 to win a sixth title at the China Open on Sunday, extending his winning streak at Beijing to 29-0.
Djokovic, who was facing Nadal for the 45th time in his career, improved his head-to-head record against the Spaniard to 22-23. The Serb has now also won seven of the last eight meetings between the two.
Djokovic broke Nadal early on in the first set and then hung on to win in straight sets, as the two players delighted the crowd with some great baseline rallies and some wonderful exchanges at the net in the final.
Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Nadal showed glimpses of his past greatness and Djokovic had to fight his way out of a deuce service game twice in the first set, which he sealed with a double-break in the eighth game.
Nadal’s level has definitely improved from what he has shown earlier in the year but Djokovic was simply relentless once again.
The Spaniard had some issues with his right ankle during the match and even opted for a medical time-out at 1-1 in the second set.
Nadal returned to finish the match and tried his best to stay in it against Djokovic, who wasn’t willing to let loose even for a single point, constantly self-talking himself into playing better tennis.
It was simply too much to ask of Nadal in the end as Djokovic broke him two more times in the second set, sealing the match and the tournament with an ace.
While Djokovic has already ensured the year-end No.1 ranking for 2015 with his triumph at the US Open (his third Grand Slam title this year), Nadal is yet to confirm his entry into the elite ATP World Tour Finals in November.
It will be interesting to see if Nadal can motivate himself further after an impressive final appearance at Beijing and collect some consolation results in what has so far been a dismal year for him.
As for Djokovic, things are only looking upwards from here and he will be setting his eyes on winning another Masters title at Shanghai next week, where he lost to Roger Federer in the semifinals last year.
Some exciting tennis is in store during the coming weeks with the ATP 1000 event in Shanghai being followed by the Paris Masters, leading up to the World Tour Finals in London. Stay tuned for more news and insights here at Garbersports.com.