Serving well and utilizing his stylish one-handed backhand, Dimitrov broke Nishikori’s serve in the first set by stepping in to return Nishikori’s slower second serves. A drop in level saw Dimitrov’s serve being broken in the second set, allowing the Japanese player to level the match. Nishikori then took a medical time out to get treatment on his left hip, and was immediately broken upon return. He could never regain his level of tennis and Dimitrov served out to win the championship in under two hours. On his way to the final, he beat two other top 10 players as well – Dominic Thiem (8) and Milos Raonic (3).
Dimitrov’s last title before this was the Aegon Championships (Queens) on grass in 2014. The Brisbane International, an ATP 250, comes after two years of bad form. He went on a 6-match losing streak and had a tantrum on court during the Istanbul Open final last year that resulted in him forfeiting the match.Tonight, he thanked his new coach Dani Vallverdu, who previously also coached Andy Murray, as well as the Brisbane crowd for their support.
The women’s singles winner was big-serving Karolina Pliskova, who was dominant against Alize Cornet 6-0 6-2. The women’s doubles championship was won by the experienced pair of Sania Mirza and Bethany Mattek-Sands. Due to the win, Mattek-Sands overtakes Mirza as the number one doubles player in the world.
A special treat for the Aussie crowd was when the all-Australian pairing of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson, ages 20 and 22, won the men’s doubles final 7-6 6-4. This is Kokkinakis’ first tournament after 15 months of injury layoff, and Thompson’s most successful, with a win over top player David Ferrer in the singles. The pair have indicated they would like to play doubles at the upcoming Australian Open.
Dimitrov has made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2014. He has stated he will now focus on getting ready for the 2017 Australian Open, which starts on January 16th.
Sam Fernando is a sports geek from Australia who loves watching cricket, tennis, soccer and everything in between.