Brisbane | Nishikori gains first title in three years.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori, world ranked nine, was stunned early in the final as Daniil Medvedev stormed into 3-0 lead but he recovered to eventually claim the Brisbane International crown, his first title since 2016 for the 12th of his career, 6-4 3-6 6-2.
I'm really happy to win the championship, I want to come here next year and win again Kei Nishikori
Seeded two behind Rafa Nadal who withdrew with a thigh complaint before his opening match, Nishikori was the favourite on paper. Medvedev arrived in the final following some excellent results dispatching the likes of Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to make the championships round.
“I’m really happy to win the championship,” Nishikori said. “I want to come here next year and win again.”
Having bounced back from that three-game deficit in the first set by reeling off four straight games he went on to take the opening set. He then pressured Medvedev’s serve in the second but failed to break the Russian who in turn broke in the eighth game and then held to level the final.
In the decisive third set, Nishikori broke in the fourth game to go up 3-1. After losing only one point in his next service game, Medvedev netted three straight returns, helping Nishikori break him again in the sixth.
With his back to the wall, the Russian broke Nishikori in the subsequent game to keep the Japanese No.1 from serving out the match only for Nishikori to return the compliment and secure his first win since Memphis in 2016 after two-hours and 6-minutes.
“I’m really happy that finally I won this title, it’s been seven or eight times in this tournament. Daniil had a great final … I actually lost a final to him in Japan so it was lovely to have some revenge today. I hope he has a great season,” Nishikori said with a smile as he received the silverware from Australian tennis great Ashley Cooper.
“I was injured last year and I’m happy to be back healthy and playing.”