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Novak Djokovic overcame Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 in Beijing to win the China Open for the fourth time in five years.
Nadal tried his best to continue his fine run on the hardcourts but he failed to unsettle Djokovic and was defeated for the first time on the surface this season.
The Spaniard will be announced as the world number one on Monday when the new rankings are released.
The 27-year-old has so far had the beating of Djokovic, winning the semi-finals at Roland Garros and last month’s final at the US Open, as well as the Canada Masters.
Djokovic wasn’t to be stopped, though, and took his record in Beijing to 19-0. The Serb raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and only conceded two points on his own serve. He then broke straight away in the opening game of the second set and held his nerve to win the match inside one hour and 27 minutes.
After the match, Djokovic spoke of his fondness about playing in the Chinese capital.
“It’s been an incredible week again for me,” he told reporters.
“Still haven’t lost a match here. I just love the conditions. I love the court and the atmosphere that goes around the tournament.
“Centre court is exceptional, and I enjoy it. I try to cherish every moment that I spend here, every year.”