Despite crushing Nick Kyrgios yesterday in the Beijing title, Rafael Nadal sang the praises of the Australian Open, calling him one of the toughest players to face on the tour, that is when he's not tanking. But I was lucky the first day saving that two match points.
"In the semifinal I played well, obviously beating Alex (Zverev)", Kyrgios said. Now riding a 12-match win streak, it's Nadal's first title in the post-US Open portion of the season since winning Tokyo in 2010, where he also saved match point en route to the title. "So let's see what can happen in the future, but of course he will be a candidate for everything", he added.
Garcia was broken in the first game of the final but recovered to claim a 6-4, 7-6 win and secure her second consecutive crown following her recent triumph at the Wuhan Open.
"He has a massive future ahead and I'm really good friends with him so it's always fun playing him".
The 23-year-old, who is set to rise from number 15 to nine in the world, sank to her knees on the hard court when she finally sealed victory in the second-set tie break.
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"It was such an wonderful two weeks, it went so fast, I have the feeling I started these tournaments yesterday or two days ago".
"He has to look back and think "what a great decision it was to take time off at the end of previous year and fully recover the body".
The 26-year-old Halep had the superior mobility - Garcia had her right thigh strapped - but the French player was making the better shots. Garcia fell to her knees in celebration.
"It was such an unbelievable two weeks", Garcia said.
Sixteen-time grand slam champion Nadal beat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 4-6 6-1 in his semi-final.