Beijing, China (SportsNetwork.com) - The world's top-two tennis players --
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal -- were a pair of opening-round winners
Tuesday at the $2.315 million China Open.
The reigning champion, three-time Beijing winner and current world No. 1
Djokovic clobbered Czech Lukas Rosol 6-0, 6-3, while the second-seeded former
top-ranked star Nadal handled Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-4 on
the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center.
Nadal beat the Australian Open champion Djokovic in the U.S. Open final
earlier this month. Nadal is also the reigning French Open champ and was a
Beijing titlist back in 2005.
Nadal will reclaim the world No. 1 ranking if he can reach the final this
week. He already owns 11 titles this year.
"It's true that the things went unbelievable so I had the motivation to finish
the season well," said Nadal. "That's what I am going to try. I have an
opportunity to finish the season with good feelings. There are important
tournaments left to play, and here is one of those tournaments. Every match
means a lot for me today.
"Today is an important victory for me against an important opponent like
Giraldo," added Nadal, who broke serve five times to prevail in 89 minutes on
Day 2. "If I'm able to keep playing well every day and at the same level I
played the last couple of months, I will have the chance to be there, to be
No. 1 in the future."
Up next for Nadal will be German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday, while
Djokovic will take on Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Thursday.
In other action involving seeds, No. 3 2010 Beijing runner-up David Ferrer
outlasted rising Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2); No. 4 and 2011
Beijing champion Tomas Berdych topped Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-1; No. 5
Richard Gasquet dismissed German Florian Mayer 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); No. 6 Stanislas
Wawrinka overcame Italian Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; and No. 8 towering
American John Isner fought back to beat Chinese wild card Di Wu 5-7, 7-6
(7-4), 6-3. The former Wimbledon finalist Berdych was a runner-up in Bangkok
Meanwhile, Russian Nikolay Davydenko bested Taiwanese qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu
7-6 (7-3), 6-4; Aussie Marinko Matosevic straight-setted Frenchman and last
week's Kuala Lumpur runner-up Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; the
aforementioned Verdasco vaulted past Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman
7-6 (8-6), 6-3; and American Sam Querrey knocked out Russian and 2004 Beijing
runner-up Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
The 2013 Beijing titlist will earn $557,100.
The Sports Network