Brisbane, January 6: Kei Nishikori ended a three-year wait for a tour title after downing Daniil Medvedev in three sets in Sunday's Brisbane International final.
The 29-year-old triumphed 6-4 3-6 6-2 in a little over two hours to claim his first ATP success since beating Taylor Fritz in Memphis in February 2016.
The world number nine, who had lost his last nine finals, including three in 2018, was looking to avenge a straight-sets loss to Medvedev in Tokyo last October.
He fought back from 3-0 down in the first set to take the next five games, eventually closing it out by serving to love.
Tenth time’s a charm in ATP finals for @keinishikori
Brisbane 2019— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 6, 2019
Monte Carlo 2018
Buenos Aires 2017
Miami 2016 pic.twitter.com/YSsEHjvBjR
Medvedev, who saw off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals, saved eight break points in the second set before capitalising on an unusually errant service game from Nishikori and levelling the match.
Momentum seemed to have swung away from Nishikori, who survived a scare to hold serve at the start of the third, but the Japanese reeled off four games in a row to move 5-1 ahead.
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.