Medvedev nets Sydney title
Originally published on 13/01/18 00:00
The Russian roared back after conceding the opening set and overcame a late wobble to capture his first ATP title. The assured 21-year-old coped admirably with the partisan crowd, and did enough to seal an impressive victory.
It had all started so promisingly for de Minaur. The tenacious 18-year-old appeared all set to become the youngest title winner in ten years, however he was unable to capitalise on a dominant first set.
It was a typically gutsy display from the teenager, who is developing and improving at a rapid rate, but he will have to wait a little longer to enter the winner’s circle for the first time.
It remains to be seen if de Minaur’s exploits over the last fortnight will negatively impact his performance at the Australian Open. He has been handed a tough first round assignment in Melbourne, and will begin against Tomas Berdych.
In the women’s final in Sydney, Angelique Kerber was reunited with silverware for the first time since the US Open in 2016.
The former world No.1 is in ominous form ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year and she was a 6-4 6-4 winner over Ashleigh Barty in the championship match.
"I am playing amazing tennis again and feeling just great,” remarked the new champion, after collecting an 11th career title.
"I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash (Barty) but I was able to play my game in important moments. I feel like I am getting closer to my 2016 level."
Elsewhere, Elise Mertens became the first player to win the Hobart International twice after a 6-1 4-6 6-3 triumph over surprise finalist, Mihaela Buzarnescu.
In the final of the Auckland Classic, Roberto Bautista Agut ended a bruising week with a trophy in his hands.
The Spaniard was involved in a fierce tussle with Robin Haase in the last four on Friday, and he became embroiled in a similar scrap with Juan Martin del Potro in the championship match.
Bautista Agut emerged a 6-1 4-6 7-5 winner over the Argentine and admitted afterwards he was feeling weary. “It's been a fantastic week for me. I gave everything I have on the court this week,” said the 29-year-old.
"It was an unbelievable match today. I've been fighting a lot on the court and I played two amazing games at the end of the match.”