Novak Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets to win tennis’s China Open for a third time in four years, while top-ranked Victoria Azarenka won the women’s title.
Serbia’s Djokovic, No. 2 in the ATP World Tour rankings, beat his French opponent 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in Beijing to claim a 32nd career title and fourth this year.
“I think the first set was really even, and maybe a couple points decided the winner there,” Djokovic told reporters. “When you’re getting to the second set with the advantage, mentally it is much more encouraging for you and then you try to play on that confidence run that you have.”
Djokovic, 25, now has an 8-5 record against the seventh- ranked Tsonga, who today was able to convert only one of his six break points. That break came in the 65-minute opening set, which was decided in a tiebreak when Tsonga hit a backhand slice into the net.
Djokovic broke in the third and fifth games of the second set, completing his victory in one hour, 42 minutes.
In a meeting of the top two players in women’s tennis, Belarus’s Azarenka defeated Russia’s Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1. It improved the 23-year-old’s record against Sharapova, 25, to 7-4.
Azarenka has won five events in 2012, including the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title. She has faced Sharapova in three of those finals.
In Tokyo, Kei Nishikori defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-0 to become the first home winner of the Japan Open.