BRISBANE, January 8, 2017
Grigor Dimitrov snapped a two-and-a-half year title drought, claiming his fifth ATP World Tour crown by winning Sunday’s final of the Brisbane International presentey by Suncorp. The seventh seed from Bulgaria defeated the tournament’s number three Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Dimitrov sent down seven aces, winning 79 per cent of his first service points to prevail in one hour and 48 minutes. The 25-year-old capped his title run with three consecutive Top 10 scalps: Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals, Milos Raonic in the semis and Kei Nishikori on Sunday.
“It is one of the big moments for me. It’s been quite a few months for me on and off the court. I think that was an emotional win for me, but at the same time, it wasn’t unexpected. I have put in the work. I think I have learned a lot. I have gone through some serious work and I have just been working on myself on and off the court,” told Dimitrov, who finished runner-up to Andy Murray in Brisbane in 2013. Dimitrov improved to 14-4 in the Australian city.
World No. 5 Nishikori fell to 11-10 in ATP World Tour finals. “I think it was great week to start of the year. I had four good matches here. I will try to stay healthy next week and hope I can be ready [for the Australian Open],” he told.
Kokkinakis And Thompson Claim Doubles Title
Earlier the day, Aussie wild cards Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson capped a dream week on home soil with their first ATP World Tour doubles crowns. The pair beat Gilles Muller from Luxembourg and Sam Querrey of the United States 7-6, 6-4 in one hour and 35 minutes.
“It’s pretty crazy. I haven’t experienced that for a while. To be honest, I haven’t experienced a competitive match for a while. To go on a run like that with a mate and to beat some really quality teams, and to do it in a place like Brisbane, such a good event, as an Australian as well, with the home crowd, it’s pretty surreal,” told Kokkinakis.
Prior to the Brisbane event, Kokkinakis and Thompson were yet to play an ATP final in singles or doubles.
“Definitely matches help, especially to start of the year. We played four doubles. I played three singles. I guess it’s more important for Thanasi. He hasn’t played for a long time. For him to get matches under his belt is huge,” Thompson added.