Djokovic, Azarenka win in China
BEIJING, China (AFP) — Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka triumphed in Beijing yesterday, winning their respective China Open finals with ease in straight sets.
World number two Djokovic, 25, overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to maintain his unbeaten record at the ATP 500 tournament and take the winner's prize of $530,570.
The Serb has won the China Open every time he has entered, his previous titles coming in 2009 and 2010 before he missed last year because of injury, and his record at the tournament now stands at 14-0.
He is pressing to beat Roger Federer to the year-end number one spot in the world rankings and said he was "delighted" at his latest triumph.
"It's an amazing feeling to win this trophy in the new stadium," he said of the capital's National Tennis Stadium, which had yet to be built the last time he won in Beijing.
"The first set was really even, and maybe a couple of points decided the winner there," Djokovic, seeded number one, said.
In celebration Djokovic delighted fans with a rendition of the famed horse-riding dance from South Korean pop hit "Gangnam Style", fulfilling a promise made earlier in the week to do so if he won the tournament.
A disappointed Tsonga admitted afterwards he had let an opportunity slip early in the tie.
"It was a good match," he said. "I missed maybe something in the first set. I was a break up and I was playing well."
World number one Azarenka thrashed second seed Sharapova of Russia in straight sets to win the $4.8m women's event.
The Belarusian dispatched Sharapova, ranked number two in the world, 6-3, 6-1, in the last Premier Mandatory event of the women's calendar.
Azarenka, 23, collected the winner's prize of $848,000 and became the first player ever to win two Premier Mandatory tournaments in one year.
It was Azarenka's first China Open title in four attempts.
"I'm really happy to have a good result because I've been coming here the last four years," Azarenka said, praising the "incredible atmosphere" inside the capital's National Tennis Stadium.
Sharapova was full of praise for her opponent.
"Victoria played an amazing match," she said. "She did many things better than I did."
It was the sixth time the two had met in the final of a tournament and the fourth time this year. Azarenka has now won five and lost only one of their title deciders.
The China Open is one of four compulsory events, ranking behind only the Grand Slams and end-of-season WTA Championships in prestige.
Azarenka won the Indian Wells, a compulsory event, in March.
Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam winner, is yet to win a Premier Mandatory tournament.