If Rafael Nadal is to finish as the year-end No. 1 for a fourth time, his recent performances on hard courts will be of critical importance.
Nadal extended his win streak to 12 straight with the China Open title on Sunday, defeating Nick Kyrgios6-2, 6-1. The Spaniard, who remains undefeated since returning to World No. 1 on 21 August, tightened his grip on the top spot in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Now up to 2,360 points over Roger Federer, he has put himself in prime position to cap his 2017 campaign in No. 1 fashion.
Victory in Beijing gives Nadal his 75th career crown, moving to within two titles of John McEnroe for fourth on the Open Era list. It was his second triumph in the Chinese capital, having previously defeated Guillermo Coria for the 2005 trophy.