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Kyrgios wins in Brisbane


Nick Kyrgios of Australia<br />TONY ASHBY / AFP

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios displayed a newly acquired discipline in his title victory in Brisbane, when he defeated a weary Ryan Harrison, 6/4; 6/2. The opportunity for his maiden title on home soil came from his defeat of the defending champion, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, 3/6; 6/1; 6/4.

America’s Ryan Harrison reached the final when he utilized his experience to outlast Australian rising player, Alex de Minaur 4/6; 7/6; 6/4.

The semi-final match was indeed the “final before the finals.” Dimitrov, the World Number three player, lost the first two points but struggled to hold serve. Kyrgios served brilliantly to level. In the third game, Dimitrov survived two double faults to hold his serve for a 2-1 but Kyrgios leveled, delivering three aces.


The crucial break came in the sixth game. In a pattern that haunted him throughout the match, Dimitrov made his fifth double fault serve of the math to drop the first point and lost the second on an unsuccessful challenge. However, he took four straight points to win the seventh game for a 5-2 lead.

During the changeover, Kyrgios was up early and waited on service line for his opponent who exhausted the full break time. The impatience continued as he lost the first point from a precocious drop shot. Pulling his trigger serve, Nick delivered three aces to win the eighth game.

Serving for the set, Grigor was up 30-0 before a service return winner reduced the tally. An ace delivered at game point sealed the set 6-3. Immediately the game ended, Kyrgios went to his seat and received treatment on his left knee.

The canon serve continued in the second set as Kyrgios opened with an ace. The defending champion leveled with a passing shot at game point. In the fourth game, Kyrgios changed tactics by attacking Grigor’s weak second serve. Two successful charges to the net got Gyrgios break opportunity.

The first was cancelled by a service winner while the next was lost by a Kyrgios wild service return. Dimitrov had game point but point but lost it with his sixth double fault. An adventurous service return winner gave Kyrgios break point and he clinched the game with an aggressive return that elicited an error. With the newly gained momentum, Kyrgios hammered serves and dropped but one point before clinching the fifth game with an ace serve.

Any hope of recovery faded as Dimitrov opened the sixth game with a double-fault and quickly faced three break points when he missed a passing shot. Although he saved two break points, an unforced backhand error cost him the game. Kyrgios jumped to a 30-0 lead and blasted an ace

(221 km/hr) for set point but was deuced. He faced breakpoint after a long rally but promptly cancelled it with an ace. Another ace and a service winner gave Kyrgios the game and second set 6-1.

In the third set, Dimitrov won his service game to lead 1-0. From then on, Kyrgios increased the pace of his serves. He delivered three aces and a service winner to level 3-all. In the seventh game, Kyrgios attacked his opponent’s second serve and clinched the break. Kyrgios outlasted.

Dimitrov in a long rally to lead 15-0 but fell behind 15-30 on a challenge that showed the ball hit a miniscule part of the line. He shrugged his shoulders and took the next two points for a 5-3 lead. Dimitrov held serve to reduce the tally. Serving for the match, Kyrgios dropped the first point but hammered two consecutive aces and a challenge went in his favour for 40-15. An outright service winner gave him game set and match. It was his first victory over the Bulgarian in three career matches. In all, the Australian delivered 19 aces to his opponent’s five and registered sixty-nine per cent of first serves to Dimitrov’s 59.

Alex de Minaur got into the draw as a Wild Card and played all the way to the semi-finals.

The 18-year old Australian defeated Nigeria’s Tony Mmoh’s son, Michael (ranked 175 in the world) in the quarter-finals. Michael played the qualifying matches to enter the Main Draw and Brisbane could turn out to be the debut for the lanky player who was born in Riyadh Saudi Arabia but now lives in Bradenton Florida.

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