China Open: Novak beats Rafa; but Nadal takes-over #1

Results: China Open

  • Novak Djokovic def. Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4
  • Serena Williams def. Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-2
  • Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau def. Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-2
  • Cara Black and Sania Mirza def. Vera Dushevina and Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-2, 6-2

Results: Tokyo Open

  • Juan Martin del Potro def. Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 7-5
  • Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Rohan Bopanna def. Jamie Murray and John Peers 7-6(5), 6-4

Tournaments this week:

  • ATP: Shanghai Rolex Masters – Shanghai, China
  • WTA: Generali Ladies Linz – Linz, Austria
  • WTA: HP Open – Osaka, Japan

Rafael Nadal starts of the week back on top. Even with the finals loss to Djokovic Sunday at the China Open, he replaces Novak as the #1 player on the ATP World Tour, having amassed a 65-4 match record since returning to the tour in February of this year. The man has been insatiable this year, winning 10 titles in all; five of them Masters-1000 level trophies. Should he win this week in Shanghai, it’ll be a record-breaking six Masters-1000 titles in a single calendar year.

The race now heats up for the World Tour Finals in London. Djokovic, Nadal, David Ferrer and Andy Murray have all earned spots; however Murray backed-out of the year-end championship this week due to the recent disc-surgery on his lower back. That leaves five spots open – Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka are all top contenders. Richard Gasquet was in that mix, until his first-round loss to Candian Vasek Pospisil in Shanghai.

For the ladies, there’s only one spot left for the WTA Championships in Istanbul. Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic are in…Maria Sharapova withdrew from the year-end tournament with the nagging shoulder injury. Those left in the running for the final spot: Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens and Roberta Vinci. Kerbar can clinch it with a semifinals appearance this week in Linz…