Nadal triumphs in Beijing
Rafael Nadal took another significant step towards securing the year-end No.1 spot by winning the China Open title in Beijing
The Spaniard, who saved two match-points in his opening round victory against Lucas Pouille, proved to be too steady for the capricious Nick Kyrgios and eased to a 6-2 6-1 success.
It’s the 75th title Nadal has entered the winner’s circle and the sixth time he has been victorious this year. He was rock solid throughout while his tempestuous opponent struggled to keep his emotions in check.
In the first game of the match, Kyrgios carved open a break-point opportunity however a wrong call from a linesperson prevented him from making an ideal start. It was an early setback for the 22-year-old, and his annoyance was obvious.
Despite saving five break-points in his opening service game, Kyrgios remained unsettled. He continually vented his frustration at the umpire and was soon issued with a warning for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Kyrgios’ mood darkened further when he dropped serve in the sixth game after a fluffed dropshot attempt. He was struggling to make first serves and Nadal finally made him pay.
A second warning for unsportsmanlike behaviour followed for the Australian prior to the eighth game and he encountered a point-penalty as a consequence. He would drop serve once again and an eventful opener had reached its conclusion.
To his credit, Kyrgios tried to rally in the second set but he was unable to halt the Spanish juggernaut. Nadal conceded just one more game as he won the China Open for a second time at a canter.
“When I won here in 2005, I never thought that I would still be playing here in 2017,” said the champion. “I’m very happy to be here again and I’m very happy for the title.”
At the Japan Open, David Goffin completed a Shenzhen-Tokyo double by overcoming Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 to capture the biggest title of his eight-year career.
The Belgian has also strengthened his London credentials thanks to his fruitful spell in Asia and he was thrilled with his work. “It’s a really special trophy for me, as I won the tournament last week and now have again today,” said the 26-year-old.
“It’s a special feeling at a tournament I like. I have a lot of happy memories in Tokyo. It’s difficult to describe my feelings.”