April 26, 2018

Aussie wins through to Brisbane final

13 January 2018, 01:15 | Kristopher Drake

Tennis: Nick Kyrgios through to Brisbane semi-finals

Dolgopolov sheathed racket in Brisbane

The Australian No.1 said his early and turbulent loss at Melbourne Park past year had "left a bad taste" in his mouth and he wanted to do well in front of Australian crowds, starting with his first final win on home soil on Sunday night over American Ryan Harrison at Pat Rafter Arena.

A Harrison double fault to concede serve was telling of that intensity and a double break was more than enough security for a man who had only dropped serve three times all tournament.

A forehand error by Dimitrov, who made the Australian Open semi-finals a year ago, gifted Kyrgios the break in the seventh game of the third and the Canberran did not look back.

Kyrgios did not record any code violations on his way to lifting the Roy Emerson Trophy, his first ATP World Tour title on Australian soil.

One thing that did concern Kyrgios during the Brisbane final was being denied a medical timeout to reaffix the strapping on his knee, a decision he questioned at a change of ends.

Certainly, his 6-4, 6-2 win against Ryan Harrison, of the United States, yesterday to win the title in Queensland was a positive sign that all is well, at the moment, with both his game and mindset.

Kyrgios only got better from that point on though, a 17th ace sealing the victory in 1 hour and 13 minutes as he appeared largely untroubled in his movement.

"I know that he's a unsafe opponent", said Kyrgios of the American, who he has beaten in straight sets in their only two clashes. Kyrgios, however, rose to the occasion for the win.

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The American found a way to edge the Australian after being on the brink of losing the match in straight sets 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-4.

"But as the week went on, I felt that I was serving a lot better, hitting the ball better".

The Australian will take his four matches of tournament play to the Australian Open via the detour of two modified-scores evenings (Fast4) this week in Sydney and Melbourne.

De Minaur has deeply impressed Kyrgios with his three wins this week, having previous won only one ATP main-draw match in his life.

The 18-year-old De Minaur raced past Harrison to claim the first set before forcing a tiebreak in the second, where he cruised to a 5-3 lead.

"His level is very high", Harrison said afterwards.

Kyrgios, who will be under the home spotlight at this month's Australian Open, made 36 unforced errors against Dolgopolov but there were 27 winners too.

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