Top seed and World No 2 Novak Djokovic beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-6(4), 6-2, to win the China Open for the third time in his career. The Serbian previously won the tournament in 2009 and 2010; he did not play here in 2011.
Djokovic, who reached the finals of three of the four Grand Slams this year (at the Australian, US and French Opens; he won in Australia), picks up 500 valuable ranking points to close in on Switzerland's Roger Federer at the top of the ATP rankings. Federer, the 2012 Wimbledon champion, has 11,805 to Djokovic's 10,470. Great Britain's Andy Murray, the winner of the 2012 US Open and the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, is third with 8,410. Despite the defeat Tsonga remains in seventh place in the rankings and is likely to qualify for the season-ending ATP Championships, where the top eight men's singles players will compete.
The big-serving Serbian was in fine form all the way through in China, losing just one set - to Michael Berrer of Germany - in the first round. Along the way, Djokovic took out Argentine Carlos Berlocq, Jurgen Melzer and Florian Mayer.
"I think the first set was really even and maybe a couple of points decided the winner there. We both had our chances aside from those breaks that we converted... I managed to hold my nerve in the end. I made that early break in the second (and) I felt much more comfortable on the court," Djokovic said after the match.
Tsonga, meanwhile, was seeded third for this event (Spain's David Ferrer, the second seed, was forced to retire during his first round match with Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu), and saw off challenges from Russian Nikolay Davydenko and another Spaniard in Feliciano Lopez.
"I think it was a good match," the beaten Tsonga said afterwards, admitting he needed to find something special to beat Djokovic, to whom he has now lost six straight games, "I just tried to play my game, to be aggressive, but against a player like this, for the moment, my level is not high enough and it's not enough to beat him."
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