Mon, Oct 06, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Djokovic seals fifth China Open, Sharapova wins

Reuters, BEIJING

Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning a point aqainst Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the women’s singles final at the China Open at the National Tennis Center of Beijing yesterday.

Photo: AFP

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic destroyed Tomas Berdych in a lop-sided contest to win his fifth China Open crown yesterday, while Maria Sharapova overcame Petra Kvitova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the women’s final to move up to No. 2 in the world rankings.

Top seed Djokovic took 66 minutes to seal a 6-0 6-2 win against Berdych, who raised his arms in celebration when he won a game to avoid the ignominy of a double bagel with the Serb leading 6-0, 5-0 and serving for the match.

Berdych managed to win back-to-back games, but it was just a matter of time before Djokovic sealed an easy win to continue his love affair with the Beijing tournament, where he now has a 24-0 record.

Earlier in the women’s final, Wimbledon champion Kvitova broke her opponent in the very first game, but Sharapova showed greater intensity toward the end to prevail in a contest that lasted two hours, 28 minutes.

French Open champion Sharapova broke her Czech opponent twice to claim the first set, but Kvitova unleashed 15 winners in the second to force a decider.

Sharapova, having dropped her first set in the tournament, raised her game in the third, racing to a 3-0 lead, but could not capitalize on her first match point at 5-2 with an inside out forehand into the net.

She eventually served out the match and raised her hands in celebration after Kvitova buried a return into the net.



Kei Nishikori won the Japan Open title for the second time in three years yesterday, collapsing in joy on the court as he defeated Milos Raonic 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-4.

The surprise US Open finalist, who also claimed the Kuala Lumpur trophy a week ago, was in tears as he hugged his tennis star-turned-coach, Taiwanese-American Michael Chang.

The victory in just over two hours sends Nishikori to fifth in the points race for November’s ATP season final in London, while Canadian Raonic holds onto the eighth and final spot.

“I hope to get to London. I am getting close, but there are two more Masters 1000s and 500s left,” Nishikori said. “These next few weeks will be really important for me. Michael has raised my level. We have practiced more on the court and also done physical work. Beating a few Top 10 guys over the past year has helped my confidence.”

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