Grigor Dimitrov Beats Kei Nishikori Wins Brisbane Trophy Five Points

Dimitrov

Photo courtesy of twitter.com

Grigor Dimitrov (7) defeated Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 to win the 2017 Brisbane trophy. The Tennis Review looks back at an impressive run from the Bulgarian.

Dimitrov won the title in three sets

Dimitrov took the first set 6-2  in a positive display of big serving and attacking tennis leaving Nishikori few openings.

The Japanese did not back down, though, and came back in the second set with some heavy baseline hitting and attacking shot-making to take the set 6-2.

At the beginning of the third set, Nishikori took a medical time out. That may have worked in Dimitrov’s favor, allowing him to recover from losing his momentum, and giving him time to refocus.

In the third set, both men served well for the first six games, going 4-3 Dimitrov, but it was Dimitrov who broke through first, and then served out for the win.

Watch highlights of the final in the video below:

Dimitrov was the underdog in the final

Nishikori led Dimitrov 3-0 before the final and the Bulgarian was always going to have to play his best tennis to take the upset and the title.

The only way for Dimitrov to win was to execute his all court attacking game, and serve a high percentage, and he managed to do both of those things in the first set, and most impressively, when it really mattered in the third. Dimitrov put together a first serve percentage of 68% and converted 79% of points behind that delivery. Dimitrov also won 48% of his second serves, and, perhaps the most important stat of them all, he saved five of the seven break points Nishikori held against him.

What makes Dimitrov’s win even more impressive is that Nishikori is one of the ATP’s best players in three set matches, winning 73.7% of deciding sets he contests, the seventh best player on the tour in that area (Dimitrov is ranked 37 with 52%).

Dimitrov beat 3 top ten players in an event for the first time

On his way to the trophy, Dimitrov beat top tenners Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic, and then Kei Nishikori in the final. That’s the first time Dimitrov has beaten three top tenners in a row. Those players are highly likely to be the same ones Dimitrov could be facing in years to come for ATP 1000 and Slam titles, and so a strong run like this bodes well for Dimitrov in the future.

Dimitrov won his first title since 2014

Dimitrov’s last title was the Queens 2014 trophy back when the Bulgarian was being promoted as one of the ATP’s young guns. After that Queens win, Dimitrov made the Wimbledon semis and rose to No. 8 in the world, but he suffered from the curse of Baby-Fed and slumped for the rest of the season, not picking himself up until mid 2016 when he rose from No.40 in the world in late July all the way to his current ranking of 17.

The Brisbane title is Dimitrov’s fifth overall, and he said after the match, winning the title was the most fun he had ever had on a tennis court.

Dimitrov is now one of the most dangerous outsiders in the Australian Open draw.

As a former top tenner, a one time Grand slam semi-finalist, and with wins over Djokovic, Murray and Nadal, Dimitrov is not exactly an outsider in men’s tennis, but he has been out of the limelight for much of the last couple of years, and he is anything but a favorite for the Australian Open title.

Dimitrov may not quite be ready for Grand Slam success, but no one will be that surprised, considering this great run of form, to see him in the second week on the Rod Laver Arena.

A refocused, more mature, in-form and confident Dimitrov is the last thing a top seed with a lot of pressure on their shoulders wants to see across the net at the business end of a sweltering Australian Open, but it’s a sight fans of the Bulgarian’s all court shot-making and casual fans, as well, will warmly welcome.

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Christian Deverille

Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.
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