Djokovic won the 14th title of his career in Bejing
Novak Djokovic capped his return to the world number three ranking by lifting the China Open trophy.
Djokovic will overtake Andy Murray in the rankings on 19 October after his run in Beijing, culminating in Sunday's 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win over Marin Cilic.
Djokovic broke twice to take the first set following a 90-minute rain delay.
Cilic, who crushed Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, twice served for the second set, but Djokovic fought back to win it to a tie-break.
"Even though it was a straight sets win, it could easily have gone the other way," said the Serb.
"I think I was a little bit saved by the rain delay. I got my nerves together and managed to play well."
Djokovic won Olympic bronze at the same venue last year.
Later on Sunday, Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-4 to win the women's title.
The sixth-seeded Russian, who won in Beijing in 2006 and was runner-up last year, will move back into the world's top five when the rankings are released on Monday.