Beijing, China (SportsNetwork.com) - The world's top-two tennis players -- Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal -- were a pair of opening-round winners Tuesday at the $2.315 million China Open.
The reigning champion, three-time Beijing winner and current world No. 1 Djokovic clobbered Czech Lukas Rosol 6-0, 6-3, while the second-seeded former top-ranked star Nadal handled Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-4 on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center.
Nadal beat the Australian Open champion Djokovic in the U.S. Open final earlier this month. Nadal is also the reigning French Open champ and was a Beijing titlist back in 2005.
Nadal will reclaim the world No. 1 ranking if he can reach the final this week. He already owns 11 titles this year.
"It's true that the things went unbelievable so I had the motivation to finish the season well," said Nadal. "That's what I am going to try. I have an opportunity to finish the season with good feelings. There are important tournaments left to play, and here is one of those tournaments. Every match means a lot for me today.
"Today is an important victory for me against an important opponent like Giraldo," added Nadal, who broke serve five times to prevail in 89 minutes on Day 2. "If I'm able to keep playing well every day and at the same level I played the last couple of months, I will have the chance to be there, to be No. 1 in the future."
Up next for Nadal will be German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday, while Djokovic will take on Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Thursday.
In other action involving seeds, No. 3 2010 Beijing runner-up David Ferrer outlasted rising Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2); No. 4 and 2011 Beijing champion Tomas Berdych topped Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-1; No. 5 Richard Gasquet dismissed German Florian Mayer 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); No. 6 Stanislas Wawrinka overcame Italian Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; and No. 8 towering American John Isner fought back to beat Chinese wild card Di Wu 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. The former Wimbledon finalist Berdych was a runner-up in Bangkok last week.
Meanwhile, Russian Nikolay Davydenko bested Taiwanese qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; Aussie Marinko Matosevic straight-setted Frenchman and last week's Kuala Lumpur runner-up Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; the aforementioned Verdasco vaulted past Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman 7-6 (8-6), 6-3; and American Sam Querrey knocked out Russian and 2004 Beijing runner-up Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
The 2013 Beijing titlist will earn $557,100.