Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 6th 2014 Contents A68
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, October 6, 2014
Djokovic won his fifth China
Open title in what he called the
most dominant final of his career,
routing third-seeded Tomas
Berdych 6-0, 6-2 yesterday in a
little over an hour.
Djokovic was one point away
from handing Berdych a "double
bagel" --- a 6-0, 6-0 defeat---but
the Czech player fought off match
point, then broke Djokovic to win
his first game. He raised both arms
in celebration and smiled with
relief as the crowd roared.
The Serb sealed the victory two
games later to improve his
sparkling record at the China Open
"I met somebody in the final
who I ve never seen before,"
Berdych said. "I was just swept
out from the court."
On the women s side, Maria
Sharapova outlasted Petra Kvitova
6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in a hard-hitting,
back-and-forth duel to win the
title and return to No. 2 in the
Djokovic said he woke up yes-
terday with a good feeling, and
that continued when he stepped
on court and broke Berdych in the
"Everything felt right," he said.
"I stepped on the court with this
positive mindset. Obviously, I felt
it from the start."
His statistics looked fairly rou-
tine: 19 winners and nine unforced
errors, though many of those came
in the two games he lost at the
end. The difference was the way
he relentlessly pressured Berdych s
serve and prevented him from get-
ting close to a break point on his.
"This has been, under the cir-
cumstances, probably the best per-
formance in all finals in my career
I played," he said. "It was incred-
The No 6-ranked Berdych said
there was not much he could do.
"I probably played maybe over,
what, 600 matches in my career,
and I met guys like Andre (Agassi),
Roger (Federer), all those probably
in their best times," he said. "But
I have never, ever experienced any-
thing like that."
Djokovic said he s hoping to
carry the momentum to another
title at the Shanghai Masters next
week. Djokovic is on a 25-match
winning streak overall in China,
having also won in Shanghai in
2012 and 2013. He has not lost in
China since Federer beat him in
the Shanghai semifinals in 2010.
Sharapova overcame 10 double-
faults and a number of untimely
errors to defeat Kvitova in a
rematch of their 2011 Wimbledon
final, won by the Czech left-han-
The Russian had leads of 3-0
and 4-2 in the third set, but made
consecutive errors in the seventh
game to give Kvitova break point
to get back on serve. She saved it
with a hard, deep shot to the cor-
ner that Kvitova dumped in the
net, then tracked down a short
ball and hit a sharply angled back-
hand winner to make it 5-2.
After missing the end of last
season with an injured shoulder,
Sharapova is now wrapping up one
of her most successful years on
tour. She captured her fifth Grand
Slam title at the French Open and
now has four titles for the year---
her most in a single season since
With the win, she ll also jump
past Simona Halep and Kvitova
from fourth to second in the rank-
ings, within striking distance of
top-ranked Serena Williams.
At this time last year, Sharapova
was looking into different treat-
ment options for her shoulder, not
sure when she d return to the
"It was mentally a tough time
because I was just in the middle
of Europe trying to find a solution,
yet everyone was still playing," she
"It s definitely great to be a year
later in a situation where this is
my fourth title of the year, you
know, a Grand Slam this year. A
lot to put in perspective. You look
back and think about how you
kind of struggled, but you kept
Kvitova, the reigning Wimble-
don champion, fell short of earning
her second title in as many weeks
following her victory last weekend
at the Wuhan Open. She was play-
ing her ninth match in 13 days and
seemed to struggle with her energy
levels as the match wore on.
"Yeah, I was tired," she said.
"But it was final. Every time I m
playing final, I m giving everything
I have inside." (AP)
capture China Open titles
TOKYO---US Open runner-up Kei
Nishikori beat the No 4-seeded
Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (5), 4-
6, 6-4 in the final of the Japan Open
yesterday to win his fourth ATP
Tour title of the season.
With a typhoon bearing down on
the Japanese capital, the fourth-
seeded Nishikori won his second
straight tournament and the seventh
of his career with a hard-fought vic-
tory at Ariake Colosseum.
The contest was a contrast in
styles, with Raonic relying on his
big serve and Nishikori utilizing his
speed and mobility to force his oppo-
nent into many unforced errors.
Raonic had 22 aces in a match that
featured few long rallies, while
Nishikori managed just one.
Sunday s match was a replay of
the 2012 final when Nishikori beat
Raonic in three sets to become the
first Japanese man to win the event.
"It was great to win today," said
Nishikori. "It was hard to return
against him. He was serving really
well, with a high percentage and
Nishikori, ranked seventh, has also
won titles this season in Memphis,
Barcelona and Kuala Lumpur.
After the first set was on serve
until the tiebreaker, Nishikori took
a 4-2 lead only to see Raonic run
off three straight points to go up 5-
4. Nishikori took the set on an amaz-
ing save of Raonic s serve, followed
by a powerful crosscourt forehand.
Raonic had break points in the
first and fifth games of the second
set, but could not capitalize. He
finally broke to lead 4-3 and took
the set with on serve with an ace.
The eighth-ranked Raonic saved
three break points in the second
game of the final set, but was unable
to convert when he had one of his
own in the seventh.
Nishikori clinched the match by
breaking in the 10th game when the
Canadian netted a return.
"I thought it was a great match,"
said Raonic. "We both played at a
high level. He has been playing with
confidence lately and taking his
Roanic has reached the Japan Open
final for the past three years. He lost
to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina
here in 2013.
"It s disappointing to lose again
in the final," noted Raonic. "The last
two years have been more disap-
pointing than the first one against
Nishikori is now a strong chance
of becoming the first Asian man to
qualify for the season-ending ATP
World Tour Finals in London in
November. The London event fea-
tures the top eight-ranked players
in the world. Nishikori is currently
fifth in the standings. (AP)
Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts after defeating Milos Raonic of Canada in their final
match at the Japan Open tennis championships in Tokyo, yesterday.
Nishikori tames Raonic in Tokyo
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after scoring a
point during the match against Tomas Berdych of
Czech Republic during the Men's Singles Final at the
China Open tennis tournament at the National
Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China, yesterday. AP
Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates after beating
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the women's
singles final at China Open tennis tournament at the
National Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China, yesterday.
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