Nadal eases past Kyrgios to claim China crown

Rafael Nadal

A great classic for Kyrgios, what...

"It is an important title for me", Nadal said after the match.

The 31-year-old Nadal claimed his 75th title, just two crowns behind American John McEnroe, the fourth player with the most titles in the Open era. "After that I think I played one of the best events of the year, playing very solid the whole event, playing against very tough opponents", Nadal continued.

The first four or five games were hotly contested and of sublime quality, but Nadal's returning, which was vastly better than it was in a loss to Kyrgios this summer in Cincinnati, and clutch serving wore down Kyrgios, who also let a bad call in the first game fester in his mind.

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Kyrgios' frustrations began in the opening game of the first set when he bemoaned his fortune after a line judge incorrectly ruled a groundstroke had landed out with the Australian at break point on Nadal's serve.

However, having then been angered by a line call the Australian proceeded to complain to the umpire at two changes of end, which eventually cost him a penalty point at the start of the eighth game. "He played well, I played awful".

Kyrgios still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals as he is 15th in the Race standings with several tournaments remaining to close the gap on those in front.

But after that, Nadal sliced through the opposition to win the China Open for the first time since making his debut in Beijing in 2005. He's in great form. "He just destroyed me today, so it was too good", Kyrgios, who struck 20 winners but 35 unforced errors, said. When I saw the draw at the beginning of the tournament, I know that will be very, very hard to have a good chance here. It's tough to find positives when you won three games in the final. "In the semi-final, I played well, obviously beating (Germany's Alexander Zverev)".

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