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Nishikori ends title drought with Brisbane International win

Nishikori ends title drought with Brisbane International win

The world No. 9 won 6-2 6-2 at Pat Rafter Arena on Saturday to set up a decider against Daniil Medvedev or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he bids for his first title in nearly three years. I felt like I was too fast on the court today. "I mean top players, champions of our sport", Medvedev said.

Going into the match, the pair were very evenly matched, at least on paper, having played each other twice before, both a year ago, with the results split evenly between the two of them. "Tomorrow I will go for a trophy", Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. open finalist said after the win.

The Russian, now ranked 16 in the world, then fought back in the second set and earned the vital break that enabled him to serve out the set 6-3. "I felt so far away from playing good tennis tonight", Pliskova, who needed a pep talk from coach Rennae Stubbs to regain composure, said.

The 26-year-old has always been touted as a future victor of a Grand Slam, but despite a stint as world number one, her best result in a major was runner-up to Angelique Kerber at the 2016 US Open.

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But the smile on the Japanese world number nine's face while holding the Brisbane International trophy aloft told just how important the victory was.

Elsewhere, Martin Klizan earned his first win at the Sydney International with a tight three-sets victory over 19-year-old wildcard Alexei Popyrin.

"And despite many chances that he had, I managed to hold my serves".

Tsurenko is 4-0 in finals, and is hoping to extend that streak when she takes on Karolina Pliskova, who defeated Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-4 to reach the title match.

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Chardy's high unforced error count (26-8) was also punished as Nishikori, who beat former world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals, won through in 66 minutes.

"I think we had the great fight until 5-4, and then suddenly, I don't know, maybe she raised her level so much that I was not ready for that".

"I was sulking a bit and there are moments that I tried not to do that".

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