Daniil Medvedev beats Milos Raonic to reach semifinals in Brisbane

Jo Caldwell
January 9, 2019

Japanese star Kei Nishikori claimed his first title since 2016 when he downed Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the final of the Brisbane International on Sunday.

Nishikori has set his sights on returning to the world's top five after falling to 39 last April due to a wrist injury at the end of 2017 that forced him to take a break from the tour.

Although Medvedev broke back to 5-2, the Russian's resistance was broken when Nishikori flashed a backhand passing shot past his left shoulder, allowing him to celebrate with his 12th career title after 51 events without success.

"This week was one of the best for me", Nishikori, who beat Denis Kudla, Grigor Dimitrov and Jeremy Chardy this week, said.

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Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts after missing a shot during his finals match against Daniil Medvedev of Russian Federation at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.

"The main goal is to do well in the Australian Open, but I'm really happy that I've been playing really well this week", he said.

"He played unbelievable", Medvedev said of Nishikori.

By and large, the final was an extension of the rock-solid tennis he produced all week as he won 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 and was for once the man making the winner's speech, not politely applauding as the gallant loser.

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"I don't really agree it was up and down because I didn't lose one serve in the match".

"Physically and tennis-wise I think it was flawless".

"Maybe first match [against Denis Kudla] was a little bit tight, but after Dimi's [Grigor Dimitrov] match and today's match was nearly ideal, I would say".

Donna Vekic trounced 2018 finalist Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-0 to reach the women's semifinals, where she will play either fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova or Ajla Tomljanovic.

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"I was sulking a little bit, and like there are moments that I tried not to do that". But then the ball wouldn't go in and then I would go back to being childish. I felt there is no chance I can win.

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