Beijing - Rafael
Nadal won his sixth title of another remarkable year by beating an
agitated Nick Kyrgios at the China Open on Sunday, while unseeded
Caroline Garcia stunned the new number one.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion Nadal saw the Australian Kyrgios hit
with a penalty point as the Spanish number one eased to a 6-2, 6-1
victory on the Beijing hard courts.
Nadal, for whom this was a landmark 75th ATP crown, came to the Chinese capital on the back of winning his third US Open.
The 31-year-old saved two match points in his nervy opener against
Frenchman Lucas Pouille, but was never really in trouble as Kyrgios's
final hopes evaporated in acrimony.
The 22-year-old Australian was upset with a call in the first game
and appeared unable to let it go after that, earning a warning and then a
"I have lot of respect for Nick, he's one of the players with more
talent on the tour," Nadal, considered one of the best players ever,
Nadal added that he hopes the temperamental Kyrgios, ranked 19 in the world, will one day fulfil his potential.
"The feeling is if he really wants to play and wants to work, he is
one of the players that have more talent to achieve a lot of things in
this sport," said Nadal, who will go immediately on next to the Shanghai
Kyrgios, who was going after a fourth career title, said he had been "destroyed" by Nadal.
"I don't know, I just got super frustrated," he said.
"I mean, I obviously didn't react professionally. Obviously that's why I got a warning.
"But I mean, that didn't really matter today. He played well, I played terrible."
Meanwhile, unseeded Caroline Garcia of
France won her second title in as many weeks as she stunned new world
number one Simona Halep in a closely fought final.
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.
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 number 15 to nine 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 afterwards, 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.
"To play every single day, it was just after every match you had to forget about what happened and be on the present again."
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
But 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.
The 26-year-old Halep had the superior mobility - Garcia had her
right thigh strapped - but the French player was making the better
The second set was even more competitive and the attritional seventh game turned out to be a turning point.
Garcia was 0-40 down on her own serve until dragging it to 40-40 and
then saving half a dozen break points before somehow winning the game to
go 4-3 up.
The duo raced into the tie break, but Garcia now had the momentum and she held her nerve to make it a Wuhan-Beijing double.
Despite her disappointment Halep - thanks to reaching the final -
will officially become world number one for the first time when the
latest rankings are out this week.
Collated results from the WTA/ATP China Open in Beijing on Sunday:
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS x8) 6-2, 6-1
Caroline Garcia (FRA) bt Simona Halep (ROU x2) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)