Nadal wins 6th title of the year in Beijing

AP
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal wins his sixth title of another remarkable year as the Spaniard punishes Nick Kyrgios at the China Open in Beijing.
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Reuters

Spain's Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after beating Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-2, 6-1 in the China Open final on October 8, 2017.

Rafael Nadal beat Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday in the China Open final to win his sixth ATP title of the year, while 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 on Monday.

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 on Sunday struggling with his serve and never found a confident range throughout the match. His first-serve percentage mostly languished under the 50 percent mark.

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

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

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

The world-ranked 19 displayed his best side in forcing Nadal to 2-2 in the first set, but his other side emerged later.

Kyrgios was already on a warning from the umpire from the first game of the match for something he said.

And when he went down 0-30 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 Australian, going for a fourth career title, 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, whose undoubted talent has often been overshadowed by his on-court conduct, collected a penalty point as his title hopes quickly evaporated.

The last time Kyrgios played a No. 1 it was also against Nadal. In that 2014 Wimbledon fourth-round encounter, the then 144th-ranked Kyrgios emerged a four-set winner.

This was Nadal's second China Open title in four trips to the final. He won his first in his Beijing debut in 2005.

Nadal leads Kyrgios 3-2 in career meetings, and 2-1 this season.

The loss dented Kyrgios's chances of making it to the season-ending ATP finals as he stands 20th in the Race to London standings.

Reuters

David Goffin of Belgium celebrates after beating Adrian Mannarino of France 6-3, 7-5 in the Japan Open final in Tokyo on October 8, 2017.

In Tokyo, David Goffin atoned for his defeat in the Japan Open final last year by winning it on Sunday, beating Adrian Mannarino  6-3, 7-5.

The victory extended Goffin's winning streak to nine matches, including four in Shenzhen last week when he won his first title in more than three years. He lost last year's Tokyo final to Kyrgios.

The Belgian stands at No. 8 in the ATP Race to London rankings. With the injured Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka ruled out, 10th place will be good enough to secure a place at the end-of-season showpiece.

Mannarino started slowly in his attempt to win a first ATP title. Goffin broke in the fourth game with a forehand winner down the line, and again in the seventh.

The Frenchman posted his first victory over a top-five opponent when defeating Marin Cilic in the semifinals. As in that match, he gained a foothold in the middle of the second set, breaking Goffin to lead 4-2.

However, Goffin immediately broke back, and again in the 11th game before serving out to love for the title.

"I've been serving well for a few weeks," Goffin said.

"During the rallies he was hitting the ball really flat, and that combined with the surface meant the bounce was really low. It was tough on the legs to stay with him in the rallies.

"When we started the second he became more aggressive and my return was not enough. He started to serve better so I needed to do something more aggressive because the first six games he was really comfortable. I read his serve a bit better, and then I took control of the rallies."

Goffin has 33 hardcourt wins this year, joint-top on the tour with Nadal. The world No. 11 will next travel to China to play in the Shanghai Rolex Masters, where he will face Frenchman Gilles Simon in his opener. 

Mannarino leaves Japan having equaled his 2015 career-best 28 wins in a season.

Also, Japan Davis Cup duo Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama surprised hot favorites Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-4, 7-6 (1) to claim the doubles crown.

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