Novak Djokovic wins China Open title but loses No. l ranking

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Beijing, China (4E Sports) – Novak Djokovic captured his fourth China Open crown with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Rafael Nadal Sunday before surrendering his No. 1 ranking to the Spaniard.

“I needed this win today,” said Djokovic. “I really wanted to get my hands on the trophy and win against Nadal, who has been the best player so far in 2013. It’s very important for my confidence. It’s very important mentally and emotionally for me.”

Djokovic, who has 19-0 record in Beijing, also won the title here in 2009, 2010 and 2012. He became the first four-time winner of this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament and received $557,100 prized money.

“It’s been an incredible week again for me at the China Open,” said Djokovic. “I still haven’t lost a match here. I just love the conditions. I love the court and the atmosphere that goes around the tournament.”

With the victory, Djokovic improved to 16-22 against Nadal in their head-to-head showdown. However, Djokovic lost the No. 1 ranking to Nadal when the latter reached the final of the tournament with a victory over Tomas Berdych.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams overcame an injury en route to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jelena Jankovic in the final.

Leading 6-2, 1-1, Williams began grimacing in pain due to a sore back that she talked about after her semifinal win, allowing Jankovic to pull ahead in the second set.

After the changeover, Williams reeled off the next five games in a row to close out Jankovic in one hour and 28 minutes.

The win gave Williams her 10th WTA title of the year and the 56th WTA trophy of her career.

Williams now has 10 WTA titles this year, the most since 2007 when Justine Henin also won 10. This was also her 73rd match win of the year, the most since 2003 when Kim Clijsters ended with 90 and Henin 75.

With 56 WTA titles, Williams is now in seventh place on the all-time list of most WTA titles. She now trails only Martina Navratilova (167), Chris Evert (154), Steffi Graf (107), Margaret Court (92), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (68) and Billie Jean King (67).

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro defeated Milos Raonic, 7-6(5), 7-5, to capture the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships title and move up to fifth in the Emirates ATP Race To London ranking.

The trophy was del Potro’s 16th career title. He received $312,000 in prize money and earned 500 rankings points.

In Shanghai, world No. 41 Florian Mayer upset Chinese wild card Di Wu, 6-3, 6-3, at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Lukas Rosol and Carlos Berlocq both joined Mayer in the second round with three-set wins. Rosol battled past Julien Benneteau 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in one hour and 35 minutes, while Berlocq edged Dmitry Tursunov 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in just over two hours.

Rosol goes on to face third seed David Ferrer, while Berlocq will challenge either No. 14 seed John Isner or a qualifier.

Meanwhile, Pablo Andujar advanced to the second round after World No. 20 Mikhail Youzhny retired down 2-5 in the first set with a stomach ailment. Andujar will face seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

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