Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets yesterday to win the China Open tennis tournament for the fourth time in five years. Serena Williams of the U.S. took the women’s title.
No. 1 seed Djokovic of Serbia defeated second-seed Nadal 6-3, 6-4 in Beijing a day before his opponent replaces him atop the ATP rankings. It was Nadal’s first loss in his 27 hard-court matches in 2013.
Djokovic, 26, secured a break of serve in each set to end a run of three straight defeats against Nadal. Since beating the Spaniard in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters in April, Djokovic lost to Nadal in the French Open and Rogers Cup semifinals and the U.S. Open final.
“It’s been an incredible week again for me,” Djokovic, who didn’t take part in the China Open in 2011, told reporters. “Still haven’t lost a match here. I just love the conditions. I love the court and the atmosphere that goes around the tournament. Center court is exceptional, I enjoy it. I try to cherish every moment that I spend here, every year.”
Nadal, 27, only needed to reach the title match in Beijing to supplant Djokovic when the ATP World Tour releases the new rankings today. He was last No. 1 in July 2011.
Top seed Williams defeated No. 8 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-2 to take her 10th WTA title of the year, the first player to achieve the feat since Justine Henin in 2007. It was her 56th WTA title.
“Everyone is beatable, I think, at some point. I know I am,” Williams told reporters. “Everyone is a threat, you know. I don’t feel like I’m above anyone. I’m just playing and doing the best I can, that’s all I can do.”