Nick Kyrgios swears at umpire during loss to Rafael Nadal in China Open final
An agitated Nick Kyrgios has lost the China Open tennis final to world No 1 Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios was unable to shake off an unfavourable line call in the opening game of the match, collapsing to a 6-2 6-1 loss to the 16-time grand slam champion.
The volatile Australian star had been chasing his third win over Nadal - and second in less than two months - but the unflappable Spaniard took full advantage of Kyrgios' meltdown to land his sixth title of the year.
Nadal's latest triumph, following successes in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and grand slam glory in Paris and New York, came five days after he saved match points in his opening match against Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
The victory also further boosts his chances of finishing the year as world Nov1 for the first time since 2013.
Despite losing, Kyrgios will climb to 15th in the ATP Race to next month's World Tour Finals in London.
With defending champion Andy Murray, five-time winner Novak Djokovic and world No.9 Stan Wawrinka all injured and out for the rest of the season, Kyrgios is effectively in 12th place in the race with the top eight plus an alternate making the trip to the English capital.
The Australian No.1 will get another opportunity to pick up precious rankings points at this week's Shanghai Masters, where he will open against American Steve Johnson.
After a promising start on Sunday night, Kyrgios lost his cool with officials after an incorrect call likely robbed him of a crucial break in the first game of the match.
He had Nadal on the stretch down break point only for a backhand that clipped the line to be called out.
Furious at having to replay the point after a successful Hawk-Eye challenge, Kyrgios engaged in a running battle with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani for the rest of the match.
"An absolute joke," he said.
"It changes the match."
Australia's eighth seed did well to save five break points the very next game and then more in his second service game as tensions rose after he received a conduct warning for swearing.
The epic first four games lasted half an hour but the next four barely half that time as Kyrgios unravelled to gift Nadal the opening set.
After a second conduct warning, Kyrgios was docked a point and then coughed up successive double-faults to allow the world No 1 to take the set.
There was no recovery in the second as Nadal raced to victory in 92 minutes to collect his 75th career title at the same cherished Beijing venue where he earned Olympic gold in 2008.