Novak Djokovic wins rain-delayed final to claim 2009 China Open men’s title

2009/10/11 20:53

  Novak Djokovic wins rain-delayed final to claim 2009 China Open men’s title  Novak Djokovic wouldn’t settle for anything less than first in Beijing this time around. The bronze medalist from last year’s Olympic Games won the 2009 China Open title when he defeated No. 8 seed Marin Cilic, 6-2, 7-6(4), Sunday evening.

   Djokovic, the No. 2 seed, was in trouble at the beginning of the match when he had to save three break points in the first game just to hold his serve. In the fifth game, Djokovic was in trouble again, facing two break points. After he saved both, it began raining and play was postponed.

   Djokovic benefited from the long rain delay, coming back and holding his serve. He then went on to win three games in a row, breaking Cilic’s serve twice and closing the set, 6-2.

   Cilic said he had difficulty adjusting to the court after the rain delay.

   “The conditions were a little bit slower than in the beginning of the match,” he said in his post-match press conference. “He got a better start over there, breaking me immediately and then winning that first set.”

   Cilic adjusted in the second set and got up an early break. In the sixth game of the set, he was broken back when he sent a forehand into the net, committing one of his 25 unforced errors.

   “I think I just didn’t find the right range between trying to hit the winner or trying to put it in the court,” Cilic said. “When I was sometimes going for the shot, I wasn’t in the right position.”

   Both players broke each other two more times in the set. Cilic stepped up to serve out the set twice, but never held a set point.

   In the tiebreak, Djokovic rattled off four straight points, taking two off Cilic’s serves, and went on to hold all of his own service points. Serving at 4-6, Cilic sent an inside-out forehand wide, giving Djokovic the win.

   “My patience and choice of the certain shots, and a little more experience than he has decided the winner,” Djokovic said in his post-match press conference. “Whenever I needed to step it up and play some big shots that would decide the match, that’s what I did.”

   Djokovic next heads to Shanghai for the 2009 Shanghai ATP Masters 1000, where he is the defending champion.

   “One thing is for sure, I feel very confident now, playing on Asian soil where I have had lots of success playing in the last three years,” Djokovic said. “Coming to Shanghai with a big victory here in Beijing certainly gives me a lot of motivation.” (By Matt Schiffman)