A year ago Kei Nishikori was just coming off a wrist injury, and readying for the challenger tour after Australia.
Now, the former US Open finalist is already back playing top tier tennis. The 29-year-old today collected his first title since 2016 Memphis, beating Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to win Brisbane.
“To win the tournament is very emotional. That’s why I’m playing,” said Nishikori. “I was trying in every final and every tournament… I played a great match against Dimitrov and today’s match was another good tennis. I’m sure Daniil is going to be [in the] Top 10 soon.”
The victory was Nishikori’s 12th career ATP crown, and snapped a 9-match losing streak in tour-level finals.
“I always start with this tournament and Melbourne, [but I] couldn’t make it last year. So I had to start at some ATP Challenger Tour events,” said Nishikori. “For sure, [this year is] a better start because I feel this tournament is always the start of the year. Playing with these guys, these top players, always motivates me. Playing good tennis [and being] very happy and healthy is one of the best keys for me.”
Medvedev, who beat Nishikori in the 2018 Tokyo final, was bidding for a 4th career title.
“If Kei plays like this, he is going to have a lot of success in this season,” said Medvedev.
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