Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev stunned home favourite Kei Nishikori in Tokyo on Sunday, winning the final of the Japan Open 6-2, 6-4 in just over one hour.
Medvedev came out of the blocks fast and Nishikori, aiming for his third title at this event, could not cope with the big-hitting Russian who broke his serve at the second time of asking.
After that it was a story of mistakes by world number 12 Nishikori –- 11 unforced errors in the first set – and consistent serving by Medvedev who strolled to a 6-2 first set in just 25 minutes.
Nishikori corrected issues with his own serve in the second set but still could not have an impact on Medvedev’s service games, winning only one point on the Russian’s serve during the entirety of the second set.
Medvedev bided his time and broke a tired Nishikori, whose final shot was another wild miss, to wrap up the victory and secure a third ATP title of the season.
Nishikori has now lost eight ATP finals since his last victory, which came at the Memphis Open in February 2016.
Wozniacki swats aside Sevastova to wear Beijing crown
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki defeated Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-3 in the China Open final to claim her third title of the season.
The Dane, who did not drop a set throughout the tournament, hit 12 winners and won four out of eight break point chances to beat the unseeded Sevastova in 87 minutes.
It was Wozniacki's second title in Beijing, following her success in 2010 which had taken her to the top of the world rankings for the first time in her career.
"I feel great being here. Having won again... eight is my lucky number and it is eight years ago I won here so I felt like it was my year," world number two Wozniacki said.
After easing through the first set, Wozniacki raced to a 4-1 lead in the second. Sevastova, who has been managing a stomach muscle injury since the round of 16, broke back to give herself a chance to mount a comeback.
But Wozniacki saved three break points to take a 5-3 lead as Sevastova struggled for consistency. The world number 20 made 35 unforced errors in the match, including 21 in the second set, to allow Wozniacki to close out the victory.
Sevastova, who has not beaten Wozniacki in five attempts, said was pleased with her performance this week despite missing out on a second title of the season.
"It was one of my best tournaments ever. Caroline played amazing today, it's always tough playing against her and I have never won. I hope that we will continue to have good matches," Sevastova said.
Wozniacki's victory is bound to boost her confidence ahead of this month's season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, where the 28-year-old is the defending champion.
Basilashvili stuns ailing Del Potro for Beijing title
Nikoloz Basilashvili stunned an off-colour Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4 in the China Open final on Sunday to claim his second trophy of the season.
Hamburg champion Basilashvili broke Del Potro in the third game with a series of powerful shots from the baseline before taking the opening set.
US Open finalist Del Potro was clearly feeling the effects of illness as he struggled to move freely on the court during the early exchanges.
Del Potro, who has reportedly been fighting a cold, came out all guns blazing in the second set and relied on his big serves to match the world number 34 up to 4-4.
Georgia's Basilashvili held firm, however, and got the vital break in the seventh game to close out the victory on his third match point in an hour and 39 minutes.
The 26-year-old Basilashvili, who saved all seven break points he faced in the contest, took his head-to-head record with world number four Del Potro to 1-1.
Despite missing out on a third title of the year, Del Potro can be satisfied with his performance in Beijing, as the 30-year-old qualified for next month's season-ending ATP Finals in London, joining Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.