Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza won titles in Beijing while Stan Wawrinka was a winner in Tokyo. Here’s our recap of the week in world tennis.
Novak Djokovic’s awesome 2015 season continued last weekend as the top-ranked Serb won the ATP China Open for the sixth time with a 6-2, 6-2 win over arch-rival Rafael Nadal, who reached his first hardcourt final of the year on the tour. Djokovic’s ninety minute win narrowed the gap between the two rivals to 22-23 in the Spaniard’s favour but the Serb has won seven of their last eight encounters. Djokovic’s 29 match winning streak at the tournament landed him his 56th title on the tour.
The Spaniard seemed hampered by a leg ailment during the second set but was happy with his performance in the week, which moves him to sixth position in the race to the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Meanwhile, the only player to beat Djokovic at the Slams this year – Stan Wawrinka- won his fourth title of the season with a 6-2, 6-4 win over best friend Benoit Paire in the Japan Open event in Tokyo. This was the 11th tour title for Wawrinka. Like Nadal, Paire also had his own struggles with injury. The Frenchman was struggling with his foot and said he was not sure if he would be able to play the final, just hours before taking to the court. Wawrinka is one of four players to have clinched a spot in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals along with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer.
Meanwhile in the doubles, Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock won their fourth career doubles title with a 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 win over Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The former Wimbledon champions were on a four match losing streak coming into this event but seem to be rediscovering their form just in time for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, where they are now placed ninth. Raven Klaasen and Marcelo Melo, playing for the first time together, won the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships with a 7-6, 3-6, 10-7 win over Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
Garbine Muguruza Wins Biggest Title of Career
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza continued her ascent up the world rankings by capturing the WTA China Open – one of the Premier Mandatory events on the WTA circuit. The Spaniard, who has recently started working with Victoria Azarenka’s former coach Sam Symuk, defeated Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-4 in the final to win her second career singles title and climb up to No. 4 in the rankings, Bacsinszky’s run to the final means she breaks into the Top 10 for the first time in her career, more than two years after she she had quit the game and dropped to the 500s in the rankings. Muguruza, who also reached the finals of the Wuhan event last season, has already qualified for the season-ending WTA Tour Finals in Singapore along with Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep, both of whom have been struggling with injuries in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the top-ranked duo of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis captured the doubles title with a 6-7, 6-1, 10-8 win over Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan to win their eighth title of the season and their fourth in a row. The Chan sisters have also clinched a spot in the season-ending WTA Tour Finals.
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Retain Top Ranks
Novak Djokovic continues to hold on to the top spot in the ATP singles rankings but with the Shanghai Masters points dropping off one week prior to this year’s edition, Roger Federer drops one spot to No. 3 while Andy Murray climbs to No. 2. Nadal climbs one spot to No. 7 while South African Kevin Anderson breaks into the Top 10 for the first time in his career and Paire climbs 7 spots to No. 25. In the doubles, the Bryan Brothers reign atop the doubles rankings and the only change sees Nenad Zimonjic climbs one spot to No. 9, swapping places with Nicolas Mahut.
Among the women, the out-0f-action Serena Williams retains the No. 1 spot followed by Halep, Sharapova and Muguruza, who is only one point behind the Russian in the standings. Polish player Agnieszka Radwanska climbs 2 spots to No. 6 while Bacsinszky climbs 7 spots to No. 10. Sania Mirza continues to reign atop the world rankings followed by Martina Hingis at No. 2. Inside the top 10, Yaroslava Shvedova climbs one spot to No. 6 while Yung-Jan Chan climbs two spots to No. 8.