Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Nishikori ends title drought with Brisbane International win

Nishikori ends title drought with Brisbane International win

Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacts after winning his match against Canada's Milos Raonic.

Nishikori said he was pleased with his form heading into the Australian Open, where he has never progressed further than the quarterfinals. The 33-year-old Tsonga, coming off eight months on the sidelines with a knee injury, held his nerve despite a partisan crowd at Pat Rafter Arena.

Kei Nishikori and Jeremy Chardy will meet in Saturday's other semi-final.

In women's singles, Czech tennis star Karolina Pliskova battled past Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the final clash to clinch her second Brisbane International title.

Nishikori is also the first Japanese player ever to win the Brisbane International trophy.

Although Medvedev broke back to 5-2, the Russian's resistance was broken when Nishikori flashed a backhand passing shot past his left shoulder, allowing him to celebrate with his 12th career title after 51 events without success.

"It was a unusual match today, but the beginning of the sets was important".

"Today's match; it was good tennis and I'm sure Daniil is going to be top 10 soon", Nishikori said after the Brisbane International final.

"I feel like last year I did a lot of that, and I'm trying to change it more, and I think I have - like toward the end of last year".

The match then continued to go her way when Tsurenko rolled her ankle while down 1-0 in the third set.

But he chalked it up as another valuable lesson against a red-hot opponent as he prepares for next week's Sydney International, where he made the final past year, and the Australian Open later this month.

The world No.9 won 6-2 6-2 at Pat Rafter Arena on Saturday to set up a decider against Daniil Medvedev as he bids for his first title in nearly three years.

World No.8 Karolina Pliskova has made a strong statement to kick off her Australian summer, after she overcame a major scare to claim her second Brisbane International title from fearless Ukrainian, Lesia Tsurenko.

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