Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Novak Djokovic beats new No. 1 Rafael Nadal to retain China Open title

October 6, 2013 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Rafael Nadal in the China Open men's final in Beijing.
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Rafael Nadal in the China Open men's final in Beijing.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Novak Djokovic retains China Open title, beating Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final
  • Nadal had toppled Serbian from world No. 1 ranking by reaching the title match
  • Djokovic gets revenge for his defeat by Nadal in last month's U.S. Open final
  • Serena Williams wins 56th title of her career, beating Jelena Jankovic in women's final

(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic may have surrendered his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal, but he was not about to tighten his grip on the China Open title.

Nadal ended the Serbian's 11-month reign at the top by reaching Sunday's final, but could not stop Djokovic winning in Beijing for the fourth time in five years.

"I needed this win today. I really wanted to get my hands on the trophy and win against Nadal, who has been the best player so far in 2013," the 26-year-old said.

"It's very important for my confidence. It's very important mentally and emotionally for me."

Secret to beating tennis' big four
Tennis greats gather for ATP reunion
America's rising tennis star

Djokovic has yet to taste defeat at the tournament, having not taken part in 2011 due to injury.

"I still haven't lost a match here. I just love the conditions," he said.

Read: Nadal topples Djokovic as world No. 1

"I love the court and the atmosphere that goes around the tournament. Center court is exceptional, and I enjoy it. I try to cherish every moment that I spend here every year."

Djokovic is still hoping to be the ATP Tour's year-end No. 1 for the third successive time, but he faces a tough task to displace Nadal -- who has won two grand slams this year after returning from long-term knee problems in February.

Nadal had been on a 22-match winning streak since his shock first-round defeat at Wimbledon, and had beaten Djokovic three times in a row including last month's U.S. Open final to take his career advantage to 22-15.

"I didn't see the way to stop him this afternoon," the 13-time grand slam champion said. "He was too strong for me. I didn't play my best match, but he played at a very high level with his serve.

Read: Nadal wins second U.S. Open title

"I was not able to have any chance when I was returning during the whole match. He had the ball staying very low. It was very difficult to create spin on this ball. He was able to hit all the balls where he wanted. When that's happening against a player like Novak, you are dead. You don't have one chance."

Both players will next move on to Shanghai, where Djokovic will be defending his Masters title -- if he cannot then Nadal could take advantage and move further ahead in the standings, having not played there last year.

Roger Federer also returns to action, with the former world No. 1 needing points to ensure his participation at the season-ending championships in London next month.

Serena Williams, meanwhile, will be taking a break ahead of the WTA Championships in Istanbul, having won the 56th title of her career in Beijing on Sunday and her 10th of this season -- the best tally since Justine Henin in 2007.

Celebrating the life of Arthur Ashe
Grand Slam champ's passion for song

The world No. 1 crushed formerly top-ranked Jelena Jankovic 6-2 6-2 despite suffering an apparent recurrence of a back problem from earlier in the tournament.

Read: Equal pay for equal work?

She is now seventh on the all-time WTA list, having moved above Virginia Wade and Lindsay Davenport.

The American has 73 match wins this year, the best since Kim Clijsters' 90 and Henin's 75 in 2003.

"I really love tennis so much and it's fans like the ones here in China who are so exciting to come to," she said after her second success in Beijing -- the other being in 2004 when it moved to Beijing.

"The fans make me want to play, they're so great here, so coming here is such a great opportunity."

Jankovic, the only woman to play in all 10 editions of the event, was unable to repeat her 2008 success.

"Serena was just too good today, and big congratulations to her," said the Serbian eighth seed, who is hoping to clinch one of the remaining places for the Turkey showpiece.

Last month China's Li Na sealed the fifth of eight spots, joining Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska in qualifying.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT