BRISBANE, January 7, 2018
Nick Kyrgios claimed his first ATP World Tour title on home soil after a dominant defeat of US-American Ryan Harrison in the final of the 2018 Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.
Kyrgios was in imperious form at Pat Rafter Arena on Sunday night, sweeping past the US-American 6-4, 6-2 to become the first Australian since Lleyton Hewitt in 2014 to capture the title in Brisbane.
The Canberran fired down his 17th ace of the match to clinch victory in front of an ecstatic home crowd of 6,256, which took the total attendance for the tournament to 90,252.
— #BrisbaneTennis (@BrisbaneTennis) 7. Januar 2018
“Came back from a set down three times and against three pretty good opponents. And for me, that’s just confidence not only mentally but physically as well, and battling and fighting hard. And it’s good to see the work I was doing in the offseason is paying off. But pretty happy with my performance today,” Kyrgios told after lifting his first trophy on home soil. The 22-year-old is projected to return to the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings on Monday at No. 17.
“I didn’t know what kind of performance I was going to put in this week, whether I was going to do well. But as the week went on, I felt that I was serving a lot better, hitting the ball better. And I knew today was obviously a great opportunity.”
Harrison is now 1-2 in finals, also losing to Isner in the 2017 Atlanta championship match. The American earned his first title in Memphis last year.
“His level is very high. I think that we all know how well he can play. He brought a very high level today. And playing out here in Australia, he’s obviously very motivated and very comfortable. You know, he’s going to be a danger to beat anybody that he plays whenever he plays like that. I think that it’s nothing new, though, for him. He knows that and he knows he has the level,” Harrison told.
Henri Kontinen of Finland and Australian John Peers, the two-time defending Nitto ATP Finals champions, picked up where they left off at the end of 2017, winning their 11th title (10-1) in Brisbane. The pair defeated Argentines Leonardo Mayer and Horacio Zeballos 3-6, 6-3, 10-2 in one hour and 10 minutes.
“Matches like this today, doesn’t matter if it’s a final of a 250 or a [Grand] Slam or any other big event, or bigger on paper. I just enjoy the feeling of being out there. So hopefully we’ve got a lot of these matches coming up this year,” Kontinen said.
“We stuck a couple of points here in the first set, and then we snuck out of my first service game in the second set. And then we just got momentum going our way. And then actually played a really, really good tie-breaker at the end. So a lot of fun to finish off the tournament that way,” Peers added.