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Djokovic Defends Beijing Title In Rain-Delayed Final

Beijing, China

Djokovic, Ferrer© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic (left) has an 18-12 record in tour-level finals.

Serbian World No. 2 Novak Djokovic lifted the 18th tour-level title of his career on Monday after he defeated David Ferrer of Spain 6-2, 6-4 to complete the defence of his China Open title in a rain-delayed final. Djokovic was leading 3-1 when play was rained-out on Sunday.

Djokovic, who two days ago qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November, became the first back-to-back winner in the six-year history of the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in Beijing, where he has a 9-0 lifetime record.

Watch Beijing Final Highlights  | Djokovic Qualifies For London Finals

"[I'm] just happy to win another tournament and make my record here in Beijing even better," said Djokovic. "It's definitely one of the most successful tournaments in my career."

Top seed Djokovic earned 500 South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings points and was presented with a cheque for $500,000 after recording his fifth win in nine meetings over Ferrer, who picked up 300 points and $230,000. Ferrer dropped to an 8-10 record in ATP World Tour finals.

Eighth seed Ferrer was unable to get the better of Djokovic, who converted four of six break point opportunities and won 71 per cent of service points for victory in 85 minutes.

"I think he played with no mistakes and I made little mistakes in the second set [at] 4-3," said Ferrer. "I had my chance there. I had two advantages and I [hit] one double fault. But he played well. Me, maybe when I lost this game, I lost a little bit [of] my concentration."

The 23-year-old Djokovic is the third player this season to successfully defend two ATP World Tour titles, joining Rafael Nadal (Monte-Carlo, Rome) and Marin Cilic (Chennai, Zagreb).

In February, he won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Youzhny) in another rain-delayed final. He has an 18-12 record in tour-level finals and a 49-13 match record on the season, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the US Open (l. to Nadal).

"I started off really well, but then I lost the momentum," admitted Djokovic. "I kind of lost the rhythm, got him back into the match with some unforced errors, and it wasn't a really nice looking match from both sides. We made a lot of unforced errors."

Ferrer, 28, was appearing in his fourth ATP World Tour final of the year (1-3). The Spaniard has compiled a 52-18 season record and is just nine match wins short of his career-best year in 2007 when he won 61 matches.

Ferrer moves to No. 8 in the year-to-date South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. He beat World No. 5 Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-4 in the quarter-finals and Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the semi-finals. He has a 27-49 lifetime record against Top 10 opponents (6-10 this year). 

"It's very important for me for to go to London [for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals], so I need to play very good [to] be there," said Ferrer.

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