Tennis: Nadal savours purple patch, wraps up 6th title in Beijing

Rafael Nadal of Spain sliced through the opposition to win the China Open for the first time since making his debut in Beijing in 2005.
Rafael Nadal of Spain sliced through the opposition to win the China Open for the first time since making his debut in Beijing in 2005.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • World No. 1 Rafael Nadal won his sixth title of another remarkable year as he punished a disgruntled Nick Kyrgios at the China Open yesterday.

The Spaniard was never really in trouble against the temperamental Australian in a 6-2, 6-1 rout in 92 minutes in Beijing.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner came to the Chinese capital on the back of winning his third US Open. He saved two match points in his nervy opener against Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

But after that, Nadal sliced through the opposition to win the China Open for the first time since making his debut in Beijing in 2005.

"In 2005, when I won here, I never thought that in 2017, I'm going to be still playing tennis here so (I'm) very happy to be here again, very happy for the title," said the 31-year-old after his most successful season since 2013, when he won 10 tournaments.

"I hope to be back next year, xie xie ('thank you' in Mandarin)," he added after thanking organisers, fans, and his team.

Kyrgios displayed his best side in forcing Nadal to 2-2 in the first set, but his other side emerged later.

The 22-year-old was on a warning from the umpire from the first game of the match for something he said. And when he went down 30-0 on Nadal's serve at 2-2, he began the first in a series of lengthy discussions with the umpire - frequently spreading his arms in despair. The world No. 19 shook his head and continued the discussion as he trudged back to his chair, initially to whistles from the crowd and then cheers to encourage him.

Kyrgios collected a penalty point as his title hopes quickly evaporated.

"He just destroyed me today, so it was too good," said the Australian.

"I put in a pretty good week, had some good wins. It's tough to find positives when you won (just) three games in the final. But I guess there were positives. In the semi-final, I played well, obviously beating (Germany's Alexander Zverev)."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2017, with the headline 'Nadal savours purple patch, wraps up 6th title in Beijing'. Print Edition | Subscribe