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Bridging The Gap
Nishikori claims first title since 2016 with Brisbane win
  Sunday 06 January, 2019
Nishikori claims first title since 2016 with Brisbane win

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.

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.

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