Dimitrov Triumphs in 2017 Brisbane International Final
While Andy Murray’s late-2016 momentum may have faltered in Doha, Grigor Dimitrov suffered no such setback in Brisbane. In the 2017 Brisbane International final, the Bulgarian formerly known as “Baby Fed” captured the title with a 6—2, 2—6, 6—3 over Kei Nishikori.
Grigor has long been tipped as one of the next big names in tennis. And when he defeated then-defending champion, Andy Murray, in the quarter finals of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, many felt his time might have arrived. But when the Bulgarian’s form dipped in 2015, and stayed dipped in early 2016, questions began to arise about Dimitrov’s pedigree.
Fortunately, the former world number 8 began to find his feet again late last year, a run that included wins over three top ten players. And that growing momentum seems to have carried over to 2017.
The 2017 Brisbane International Final
The match itself was largely straightforward. The two players split the first two sets evenly, pushing things to a third set decider. The final set remained on serve until the eighth game. 30—15 down on Nishikori’s serve, Dimitrov went on to win all the points in the remainder of the set, taking the match and the title.
As per the ATP match report, Dimitrov put seven aces past Nishikori, and converted three of his five break opportunities. Nishikori, meanwhile, is now on a five match losing streak in finals. While it’s a good sign that he is consistently reaching finals, he continues to struggle in the big matches.
Going into the Australian Open, this result could cause something of a shift in expectations. We’ve already had one such shift with many now considering Djokovic the firm favourite again after his win over Murray at the Qatar Open. But now Dimitrov can be seen as a real contender for the final stages in Melbourne.
The 2017 Australian Open is shaping up to be an extremely intriguing tournament…