7th of January 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
Britain's Andy Murray retained his Brisbane International title with a straight sets win over Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov. Murray, the US Open champion and top seed at the Brisbane tournament, won the match 7-6 (7-0) 6-4 in just over an hour and a half against the Bulgarian world number 48.
"I'd like to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends," said Murray, who seemed to have a tough time holding back tears at the trophy presentation. "He's back home watching - you're going to get through it." Murray did not say who he was talking about but it seems Davis Cup team-mate Ross Hutchins was on his mind, as he had announced later on Sunday that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The 25-year-old Scot lost 11 of the first 12 points, trailed 3-0 and needed to save set point before taking the first set on a one-sided tie-break. Then Murray had to break back in the second set against the 21-year-old opponent, who was playing in his first ATP tour final. Dimitrov led 4-3 but Murray upped the pace to break back immediately. He then held to love for a 5-4 lead in a service game that lasted 56 seconds and broke Dimitrov once more to clinch victory.
Murray stated his admiration for Dimitrov, who beat second seed Milos Raonic, seventh seed Jurgen Melzer and 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis on the way to the final. Dimitrov is bidding to become the first Bulgarian to win an ATP title in the open era. "It's his first final," said Murray. "Everyone will agree he played some extremely exciting tennis; it was a very tough match. He has just changed coaches - started with a new team. I'm sure they're going to do great things together."
Murray's 25th career title comes ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, which starts on 14 January. Bet365 have Andy Murray at 9/4 to win the Australian Open, while Novak Djokovic is the favourite at 11/10.
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