Andy Murray warmed up for this month’s Australian Open with a straight-sets win against Grigor Dimitrov yesterday to retain his Brisbane International tennis title.
The 25-year-old Scot, ranked No. 3 on the ATP World Tour, won 7-6 (7-0) 6-4 against his 48th-ranked opponent as he collected a 25th career title. He came back in each set to beat Bulgaria’s Dimitrov, 21, who was playing in his first final.
“He plays a lot of different shots, which is tough to play against because you’re kept off balance a lot of the time,” Murray said in comments on the ATP website.
Murray, the top seed in Brisbane, was broken in his opening service game and then had to save a set point at 5-6 before sweeping a tie-break.
Dimitrov, who will climb to a career-high ranking of No. 39, had a break in the seventh game of the second set before Murray won three straight games to end his resistance.
Murray dedicated his victory to a sick friend, whom he didn’t name. The Lawn Tennis Association, the sport’s governing body in the U.K., said British player Ross Hutchins has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Hutchins, 27, is ranked No. 28 in the world in doubles and has previously partnered Murray.
The Australian Open, the first of the year’s four Grand Slam events, starts Jan. 14 in Melbourne. Murray was runnerup in 2010 and 2011 and lost in the semifinals last year.
In September, he won the U.S. Open to become the first British man to win a singles Grand Slam event in 76 years.
Two days ago, Serena Williams of the U.S. beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 in the women’s final in Brisbane for her 47th career title.
Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic defeated Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 yesterday to win the Chennai Open in India.
Two days ago, France’s Richard Gasquet beat Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to take the Qatar Open title in Doha. Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska beat Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 6-4 to win the ASB Classic in Auckland, and Li Na captured the Shenzhen Open in her native China by beating Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.