Mon, Oct 09, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Garcia stuns new No. 1 Halep in Beijing

WITH EASE:Rafael Nadal swept Nick Kyrgios with ease 6-2, 6-1 in the men’s final, and is headed to Shanghai next, where he is to face birthday boy Jared Donaldson

AFP, BEIJING

David Goffin pretends to take a swig from a cardboard cutout after defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final of the Japan Open in Tokyo yesterday.

Photo: EPA

Unseeded Caroline Garcia of France won her second title in as many weeks yesterday as she stunned new world No. 1 Simona Halep in the closely fought final of the China Open.

Garcia is in the form of her life and edged out the Romanian second seed 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to add the China Open to the Wuhan Open title she lifted last weekend, making it five WTA crowns in all.

Garcia’s feat was all the more remarkable, because she was carrying a leg injury that has required frequent on-court treatment and completed a mammoth three-set quarter-final win well past midnight on Friday.

The 23-year-old, who is set to rise from No. 15 to No. 9 in the world, sank to her knees on the hard court when she finally sealed victory in the second-set tie break.

“I was like, seriously, this really happened?” Garcia said, asked what was in her mind when she slumped to her knees.

“It was such an amazing two weeks, it went so fast, I have the feeling I started these tournaments yesterday or two days ago,” she said. “Even this morning I couldn’t believe I was in the final.”

With rain teeming down outside ahead of what turned out to be a cracker, a leak in the Diamond Court stadium roof had threatened to dampen proceedings.

However, that was soon fixed and there was little between the two players until Garcia broke Halep in the 10th game to grab the first set.

In the men’s final yesterday, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal won his sixth title of another remarkable year as he punished a disgruntled Nick Kyrgios.

The 31-year-old Spaniard was never really in trouble against the temperamental Australian in a 6-2, 6-1 rout in 92 minutes on Beijing’s outside hard courts.

JAPAN OPEN

AP, TOKYO

David Goffin atoned for his defeat in the Japan Open final last year by winning it yesterday, 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.

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.

The Frenchman posted his first victory over a top-five opponent when defeating Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. 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.”

Goffin has 33 hard-court wins this year, joint-top on the tour with Rafael Nadal, who played the China Open final later yesterday.

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

SHANGHAI MASTERS

AP, Shanghai

Jared Donaldson of the US yesterday scored an early birthday present in beating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 6-4 in the Shanghai Masters first round.

Donaldson, who turns 21 today, saved all eight break points he faced. He broke Cuevas’ serve once in each of the last two sets.

The 56th-ranked Donaldson plans to celebrate his birthday by going to Disney Shanghai, before experiencing a first career meeting against Nadal in the second round.

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