Rafael Nadal eases to China Open title with dominant victory over Nick Kyrgios
Last Updated: 08/10/17 5:42pm
Rafael Nadal secured his sixth title of the year with a routine victory over Nick Kyrgios in the China Open final.
The world No 1 proved too strong for the Australian, who had won nine of his previous 11 matches, winning 6-2 6-1 to secure his second Beijing title after his first victory in 2005.
Nadal, a two-time Grand Slam champion this year, never appeared in danger of losing to Kyrgios despite the fiery Australian making an encouraging start to the encounter.
Nadal, 31, secured the opening set thanks to two breaks of serve before racing through the second set against an out of sorts Kyrgios who struggled to cope with the greater consistency from Nadal's racket.
The Spaniard, who saved two match points in his first-round encounter against Lucas Pouille, fought through a tight service hold in the opening game of the match in which Kyrgios had a break point before running away with the first set winning four games on the spin as Kyrgios' frustrations grew.
The 22-year-old received a point penalty at 2-5 after he engaged in a series of lengthy discussions with the chair umpire during the change of ends.
Nadal, appearing in his 110th career final, maintained his dominance during the second set breaking the world No 19 twice before wrapping up the match with a comfortable service hold to extend his match winning streak to 12.
"It is an important title for me," said Nadal. "The last year that I had the trophy with me was in 2005... It is completely different. I don't even remember that one. The feeling is probably better this year."
The victory sees Nadal, who saved all four break points he faced, secure at least six titles in a year for the first time since 2013 and puts him ahead of Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev, who are both likely to provide tough opposition at the season-ending World Tour Finals, live on Sky Sports, next month.
"Very long games at the beginning and a good level of tennis," Nadal added. "I think after 30 minutes we were only 2-1. I played, in my opinion, a great level of tennis tonight. Of course, I think one of the best matches of the year. He is always very tough opponent to play against.
"But today, I think my serve worked well, and I was returning a lot of balls, putting a lot of balls inside, then taking the advantage from the baseline a little bit more often than him. I was a little bit more aggressive and that was the key."
Kyrgios, who lies 20th in the Race to London standings, will now face a tough challenge if he wants to compete in London with only the top eight players featuring at the O2.
Sky Sports Tennis will have all the action from the ATP Shanghai Masters before the action heads to Paris. The Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and season-ending extravaganza World Tour Finals at London's O2 in November end another memorable year which will covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs and updates as the season reaches its climax.
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