• Spain's news in English

Nadal regains number one despite China loss

AFP/The Local · 7 Oct 2013, 09:29

Published: 07 Oct 2013 09:29 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The result was Nadal's first hardcourt loss of the season.

The second seed in Beijing only showed rare glimpses of the form that has seen him win 10 titles this year, with his Serbian opponent racing to a 3-0 lead in the first ten minutes.

Top seed Djokovic then powered ahead, showing formidable power-hitting to take the first set 25 minutes later.

The pair displayed incredible movement in the opening game of the second set, engaging in quickfire net-play, much to the delight of the crowd.

Nadal came out on top of that duel, winning the point, but Djokovic took the game to break serve.

Djokovic then kept his nerve, holding serve until the conclusion of the match on one hour 27 minutes.

The victory represents a sweet one for Djokovic, who is spending his 101st week at number one, and will have his current streak of 48 weeks ended on Monday when the ATP announce its new rankings with Nadal at the top.

The Spaniard only needed to make the final to unseat him.

After the match, Djokovic congratulated Nadal on his achievement.

"I have to say congratulations to Rafael because he deserves definitely to be number one of the world this year with the season that he has had," he said in an interview on court.

"He is the best player so far in 2013, there is no question about it.

"I am just very happy to be able to continue to play well and hopefully I can maintain the rhythm."

Djokovic has been in dominant form at the China Open, where he has an unbeaten run stretching back to 2009. He did not attend in 2011.

Nadal has had the beating of Djokovic this season, coming out on top at the semi-finals at Roland Garros and last month's final at the US Open, as well as the Canada Masters.

But he said that Djokovic was "too strong" for him in Beijing at the serve. Nadal did not break his opponent throughout the match.

Story continues below…

"I didn't play my best match this afternoon. But he played at a greater level with his serve. I was not able to have any chance when I was returning during the whole match.

"He was able to hit all the balls where he wanted to hit them, so when that is happening against a player like Novak you are dead."

Nadal's return to the top for the first time since July 2011 marks an astonishing comeback for the 13-time Grand Slam champion, who spent the second half of last year on the sidelines injured.

Heading into the match at Beijing's National Tennis Centre, the pair had played each other 37 times, with Nadal leading the rivalry 22-15.

The winner of the China Open takes $557,100 prize money and 500 ATP Points.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain’s Socialists lift veto on conservatives
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available