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Overjoyed Kyrgios hails Aussie fans as he wins first title on home ground


By Robert Jones

Australian Nick Kyrgios secured his first ATP Tour title on home soil as he beat Ryan Harrison in the final of the Brisbane International.

The 22-year-old fired 17 aces as he powered to a 6-4 6-2 victory over his American opponent on Sunday.

Kyrgios wrapped up the first set in 37 minutes despite having to save five break points along the way.

The third seed grabbed an early break in the second set and did not take his foot off the gas for the rest of the match as he clinched his fourth career ATP Tour title.

After his victory, Kyrgios said: "I felt good all week. I felt right at home.

"Every time I stepped out here the fans gave me such great support. I love playing in front of you guys even though sometimes it may not seem that way. But I do - I really appreciate it."

Julia Goerges won her third straight title as she clinched victory over former world number one Caroline Wozniacki at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

The 29-year-old German was in sparkling form, firing 41 winners and making just 23 unforced errors to win 6-4 7-6 (4/7) after 90 minutes on court.

Goerges, who was runner-up to US Open champion Sloane Stephens in 2016, won the first set with her seventh ace, having broken serve in the very first game.

She broke again in the first game of the second set, before the world number three fought back to force a tie-break. With a thundering forehand proving her biggest asset, it was only fitting for Goerges, the number two seed, to seal the title with a forehand winner.

After the match, Goerges said her achievement felt "amazing".

"It's not just about winning here, but the consistency I've had for the last few weeks and months. That makes me prouder, and I'm just enjoying every moment of it," she said.

Wozniacki vowed to get her revenge at the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month.

She said: "Julia played really well and she had a great end to last season too, so it's good to see her bringing that form into this year. I'll try to get my revenge in Australia!"

Goerges, ranked number 14 in the world, earned her back-to-back victories at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow and the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, while Wozniacki won the biggest title of her career in October at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Elsewhere on the tour, British No2 Heather Watson came through an early scare in her second qualifying match to reach the main draw at the Hobart International. Despite dropping the first set, she fought back to beat Japan's Nao Hibino 4-6 7-5 6-3, and will face Romania's Sorana Cirstea in the first round of a tournament she won in 2015.

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina got the perfect boost ahead of the Australian Open by lifting the Brisbane International title with a 6-2 6-1 win over qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Saturday.

Belfast Telegraph


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