Dimitrov breaks six-year drought with Brisbane title

BULGARIAN veteran Grigor Dimitrov snapped a six-year title drought by taking out the 2024 Brisbane International yesterday. The world number 14 defeated top seed and world number eight, Holger Rune in the decider 7-6 6-4, which went for two hours and 16 minutes.

Dimitrov last won a title back in 2017, which was the ATP Finals capping off a star-studded year that included three other titles including the Cincinnati Masters. Since then though, the Bulgarian 32-year-old has made three finals without success.

The straight sets victory over Rune was Dimitrov’s ninth title of his career, winning an impressive 77 per cent of his first serve points off a rock solid 70 per cent clip. Both players produced some terrific tennis, but a second set break – the only one of the match – allowed Dimitrov to secure the win.

“It’s been a while since I held one of these, it’s a bit emotional,” Dimitrov said post-match at the trophy celebration. “My love affair started here many years ago in Brisbane and it continues. I’m very thankful to lift the trophy again.”

Unfortunately for Dimitrov, his parents were unable to be there after spending the week in Brisbane, but had to catch an earlier flight home.

“I told them goodbye before the match and I was checking the clock a few times to see if I would finish the match a little earlier but unfortunately it was not that easy,” Dimitrov said.

“But it’s been amazing to have them around the past two to three weeks. They have to go back to work, have to go back to their own lives. I think we have a great balance the way we see each other. I’m going to try to make that happen more throughout the year.”

Dimitrov’s title allowed him to move up one place into 13th spot in the world rankings, and will now set his sights on the Australian Open which starts on January 14.

Andrey Rublev lifting the Hong Kong Open trophy | Picture credit: Getty Images

Rublev capitalises in Hong Kong

RUSSIAN top five talent Andrey Rublev made good on his overwhelming favouritism at the Hong Kong Tennis Open, securing the ATP 250 title with a straight sets win over Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the final. Rublev won 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 17 minutes, capturing his 15th ATP Tour title with the victory.

“It is a great feeling,” Rublev said post-match. “I enjoyed my week a lot here. It is a great feeling to start the season with the title. I liked the city, the tournament and I played good tennis.”

Rublev only committed six unforced errors while hitting 13 winners in a strong performance across the board. The world number five only dropped 15 points off his serve, winning 79 and 78 per cent of his first and second serve points, while saving his only break point in a dominant performance over the 69th ranked Finn.

“I played a good level of tennis the whole tournament,” Rublev added. “I think I played a high level in the final. It will give me more confidence for Australian Open.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments