ATP Tour

Troicki edges Dimitrov in Sydney thriller

Viktor Troicki (AP Photo)
Viktor Troicki (AP Photo)

Sydney - Serbia's Viktor Troicki successfully defended his Sydney International title with a gripping third-set tiebreaker win over Grigor Dimitrov in the final on Saturday.

The third seeded Troicki fought back from losing the opening set to win on his second match point 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) in two hours 17 minutes in Ken Rosewall Arena.

It was Troicki's third career final and comes 12 months after he beat Mikhail Kukushkin as a qualifier in the same final.

It was the first time the Serbian had beaten the Bulgarian in three meetings, with Dimitrov having prevailed when the pair met in Basel four years ago and again just last week in Brisbane.

In a magnificent tussle the deciding set lasted 83 minutes as both players manoeuvred for openings in long exciting rallies with both players having their chances to win the match and the title.

Troicki, who looked leaden-footed in the opening set, finished strongly and won the decisive tiebreaker with a brilliant backhand across court.

The 24-year-old Dimitrov was denied his fourth ATP World Tour title and first in 18 months, since triumphing at the Queen's Club in London in June 2014.

Both players broke each other's service four times in the final, while Troicki saved 11 break points during the engrossing contest.

The 22nd-seeded Troicki was defending rankings points from his 2015 title win, while Dimitrov is expected to climb from his current spot of 28 after beating Alexandr Dolgopolov and Gilles Muller to reach the final.

Troicki heads to Melbourne where he faces Spaniard Daniel Munoz de la Nava in the opening round of the Australian Open, while Dimitrov, who reached as high as No.8 in the world in 2014, plays Italian Paolo Lorenzi.

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