News ID: 236948
Published: 0337 GMT January 06, 2019

Brilliant Nishikori claims Brisbane title

Brilliant Nishikori claims Brisbane title
Kei Nishikori celebrates his victory in the final of the Brisbane International in Brisbane, Australia, on January 6, 2019.
SAEED KHAN/AFP

Japanese star Kei Nishikori claimed his first title since 2016 when he downed Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the final of the Brisbane International on Sunday.

The Japanese star had not won a tournament since Memphis in 2016 and was hampered by a wrist injury the following year which forced a break from the 2018 tour, AFP reported.

He was runner-up in Brisbane in 2017 but went one better this year in a superb final.

Nishikori dominated his Russian rival throughout, despite a slight hiccup when one poor service game cost him the second set.

The second seed started slowly and went down 0-3 to the Russian.

But he recovered to break back and then seized the advantage at 3-3 when he broke Medvedev again, taking the first set in 42 minutes.

Nishikori was all over the Russian in the second set, his powerful and well-directed groundstrokes forcing Medvedev into errors.

Medvedev held on against Nishikori's multiple chances to break at 2-2 and 3-3 and took advantage of his opponent's poor service game to break ahead.

But any thought the Russian would take the momentum into the decider proved wrong as Nishikori stormed to a 5-1 lead, eventually wrapping up the final in just over two hours.

 

Doha delight

 

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut overcame a mid-match scare to overcome Tomas Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the Qatar Open final for his ninth career title.

A day after outclassing world number one Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the season-opening event, Bautista Agut came through another three-setter for his first title in Doha.

The world number 24 saved five out of six break points and converted two of his own in a tight final to see off Berdych, who was seeking his first ATP title since 2016, in a little under two hours.

“It’s been a fantastic week for me,” Bautista Agut, who endured some nervy moments in the decider, said. “Today it wasn’t easy to manage the emotions I had on court.”

The 30-year-old will look to carry the momentum forward to the Auckland Classic next week in his final warmup event before the Australian Open which begins in Melbourne on January 14.

 

 

   
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