Novak Djokovic continued his dominant 2015 season with an emphatic straight-sets victory over Rafael Nadal in the China Open final.
The world number one sealed his eighth title of a year that has seen him lift three of the four grand slams courtesy of a 6-2 6-2 success despite a valiant effort from Nadal.
“This definitely has been my most successful tournament in my career. Beijing has been a lucky place for me,” said Djokovic, who has won the ATP 500 event four consecutive years and six times in total.
“I played a great match and a great tournament. It’s always a great pleasure to play on a big stage [with Nadal].”
Although Djokovic wasted little time in breaking Nadal in the first game of the match, the first set scoreline did not do justice to the Spaniard, the 14-time grand slam champion standing firm for much of the opener that the Serbian settled in brilliant fashion.
Nadal thwarted Djokovic when trailing 4-2, saving a break point that had been set up courtesy of a forehand smash from the defending champion at the end of a superb rally.
But Djokovic took the second break point of the game to go 5-2 up and then held to love to seal the set.
Nadal received medical treatment for an ankle injury at 1-1 in the second, and Djokovic struck immediately after with a backhand winner for a 2-1 lead.
An excellent lob gave Djokovic the double break and a 4-1 advantage and there was no way back for Nadal from that point.
The Spaniard was restricted to just seven winners in the match in contrast to 23 from Djokovic, who had no difficulty in closing out a relatively routine win.
However, Nadal was upbeat, saying: “For me it has been a very positive week, I’m improving every single match.
“A lot of positive energy to start next year stronger.”