Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Nadal claims China Open title

Published:Monday | October 9, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Rafael Nadal of Spain holds up the trophy after defeating Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the men's singles final match of the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, China yesterday.

Rafael Nadal beat Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-2, 6-1 yesterday in the China Open final to win his sixth ATP title of the year, and Caroline Garcia defeated soon-to-be-No. 1 Simona Halep 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the women's event.

Top-ranked Nadal, who was tied with Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at five titles this season, picked up his 75th career singles trophy with the win in Beijing.

The 15th-ranked Garcia, who lost to Halep the two previous times they played, won her second consecutive WTA title. The Frenchwoman will make her top-10 debut when the new rankings come out later today.

The 31-year-old Nadal's six trophies this year include a record 10th title at the French Open and a third at the US Open. The last time the Spaniard won at least six titles in a year was in 2013 when he captured 10 trophies for the season.

Kyrgios started yesterday struggling with his serve and never found a confident range throughout the match. His first-serve percentage mostly languished under the 50 per cent mark.

In contrast, Nadal always looked in charge and saved all four break points he faced.

"I was playing very high intensity the whole match, changing the directions and not making many mistakes," Nadal said.

Kyrgios offered Nadal eight break points in the first set, with Nadal taking two service breaks.

Kyrgios was angered by a line call in the first set and his complaints eventually cost him a penalty point at the start of the eighth game.

Kyrgios didn't make it on to the board in the second set until he was serving, with Nadal already leading 5-0.

"In the semi-final I played well, obviously beating Alex (Zverev)," Kyrgios said. "It's a typical type of week for me: beat a player well, then pretty much no-show."

Garcia also won her final in straight sets.

"She played amazing tennis," Halep said of Garcia. "She deserved to win today. She was better."

For Halep, the loss was particularly disappointing as she was unable to back up her guaranteed debut in the No. 1 ranking today. She secured the top spot on Saturday with her semi-final victory over French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.