Djokovic, Kuznetsova win China Open Tennis
BEIJING: Novak Djokovic captured his third ATP title of the year at the China Open on Sunday, outlasting giant killer Marin Cilic of Croatia, while Russia''s Svetlana Kuznetsova breezed to the women''s title.
The Serbian second seed capitalised on a 90-minute rain delay at 2-2 in the first set, returning to centre court at the Beijing Olympic tennis venue with renewed focus to win the blistering baseline battle with Cilic, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).
The big-hitting Cilic -- who beat fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko and top seed Rafael Nadal en route to the final -- pummeled Djokovic with a barrage of huge backcourt shots but the Serb successfully mixed up the pace to throw him off.
After holding serve to go up 3-2 in the first, Djokovic broke Cilic twice to take the set, with the 21-year-old Croatian the victim of two unlucky net cords in the final game.
In the second, Cilic -- a wild card entry here -- and the 22-year-old Serb traded breaks three times to force a tiebreak, with the Croatian failing to serve out the set twice.
Djokovic took control mid-tiebreak, winning a rally after Cilic slipped and fell to go up 4-2. The Serb closed it out on his second match point when the Croatian sent an inside-out forehand sailing wide.
Both players agreed that the light rain shower had influenced the outcome of the match, which lasted nearly two hours.
In the women''s final, Kuznetsova, the sixth seed here, used her powerful ground strokes and extra experience to beat Poland''s Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-2, 6-4.
Kuznetsova, who defeated Radwanska earlier this year en route to the French Open title, dominated the first set, breaking the 20-year-old Pole three times and running her around the court with her penetrating ground strokes.
In the second, the 24-year-old Russian -- who won here in 2006 -- also went up an early break and never looked back, hitting difficult angles from the baseline and easily serving out the match against the Polish 12th seed.
The win at the 6.6-million-dollar combined ATP/WTA event ensures that Kuznetsova, currently world number six, will move into the top five when the new WTA rankings come out on Monday.
Also on Sunday, American twins Bob and Mike Bryan won the men''s doubles final, defeating Andy Roddick and doubles specialist Mark Knowles in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, for their sixth title of the year.
China''s Peng Shuai and Taiwan''s Hsieh Su-wei won the women''s doubles title late Saturday, beating Russia''s Alla Kudryavtseva and Ekaterina Makarova, 6-3, 6-1.