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Kyrgios moves into semifinals at Brisbane International

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BRISBANE, Australia — Nick Kyrgios dropped his serve twice in the first set but rebounded to reach the Brisbane International semifinals with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over former finalist Alexandr Dologolov on Friday.

The third-seeded Kyrgios had his left knee heavily taped but didn’t appear to be hampered as he worked his way into the match after dropping the first set in 22 minutes.

In his first semifinal on home soil, Kyrgios will play either defending champion Grigor Dimitrov.

Teenage wild-card entry Alex De Minaur followed up his upset victory over Milos Raonic with a routine 6-4, 6-0 win over Michael Mmoh to reach his first tour-level semifinal. He’ll play Ryan Harrison, who led 7-6 (6), 4-2 when Denis Istomin retired from their quarterfinal match with a hip strain.

“There were a lot of nerves coming into this match. It was a big opportunity for me,” De Minaur said. “But I came in here a little more level-headed (than the Raonic match), had more time to play, and was able to play my best tennis.”

Belarusian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich reached her first tour-level final with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

Sasnovich, who has a career-high ranking of No. 85, will meet either defending champion Karolina Pliskova or No. 3-seeded seed Elina Svitolina in the championship match.

Dimitrov helps rival, advances to Brisbane semis

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BRISBANE, Australia — Grigor Dimitrov hurdled the net to check on the welfare of his rival and then help him to a courtside chair for treatment. Two games later, the defending champion had secured his spot in the Brisbane International semifinals.

Top-seeded Dimitrov beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Friday to set up a meeting with No. 3-seeded Nick Kyrgios, who rebounded for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over former finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov.

It was Dimitrov’s show of concern for Edmund that brought the crowd to its feet at Pat Rafter Arena. At 4-4 in the third set, Edmund tumbled to the court, clutching his right ankle with both hands.

Dimitrov jumped over the net from his side of the court and raced to help Edmund as he writhed in pain behind the baseline at the other end, giving the British player a hand to get up and then helping him limp to the side of the court.

“At the end of the day, health above all. It’s very unfortunate what happened,” Dimitrov said of Edmund’s injury. “I’ve seen this too many times. I know the feeling. I really hope he gets better.

“In the last two games he wasn’t at his best. I just had to find a way again.”

Earlier Friday, Kyrgios had his left knee heavily taped but didn’t appear to be hampered as he worked his way into the match after dropping the first set in 22 minutes.

Teenage wild-card entry Alex De Minaur followed up his upset victory over Milos Raonic with a routine 6-4, 6-0 win over Michael Mmoh to reach his first tour-level semifinal. The 18-year-old De Minaur will play Ryan Harrison, who led 7-6 (6), 4-2 when Denis Istomin retired from their quarterfinal match with a hip strain.

“There were a lot of nerves coming into this match. It was a big opportunity for me,” De Minaur said. “But I came in here a little more level-headed (than the Raonic match), had more time to play, and was able to play my best tennis.”

Belarusian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich reached her first tour-level final with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

Sasnovich, who has a career-high ranking of No. 85, will meet either defending champion Karolina Pliskova or No. 3-seeded seed Elina Svitolina in the championship match.

Dimitrov defeats Nishikori for first title since 2014

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BRISBANE, Australia — Grigor Dimitrov ended a long wait between ATP titles, beating third-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 on Sunday night to win the Brisbane International final and claim his first tournament victory since 2014.

Dimitrov, dubbed `Baby Fed’ earlier in his career for his style similarities with Roger Federer, lost the Brisbane International final to Andy Murray in 2013. He won three titles in 2014, and reached the Wimbledon semifinals as he rose to a career-high ranking of No. 8.

But his form faded and he slipped down the rankings to No. 40 in the middle of last year before starting a career resurgence and entering the season-opening Brisbane event ranked No. 17 and seeded seventh.

“It’s been pretty emotional,” Dimitrov said. “This trophy means a lot.”

He beat defending champion Milos Raonic in the semifinals. Against Nishikori, who reached his first Brisbane final after losing three previous semifinals, he fended off two breakpoints in the first game and another in the third to hold, absorbing all the early pressure before going on the attack and racing through the set.

The second set was almost a reverse of the first, with Dimitrov missing a breakpoint chance early before Nishikori rallied to win it in 33 minutes and level at 1-set apiece.

Nishikori had a medical timeout for what appeared to be a left hip problem and got treatment in the locker room after the second set.

He lost momentum in the third, as Dimitrov upped his level again. The 25-year-old Bulgarian didn’t drop a point in his first two service games in the third and maintained the pressure on Nishikori’s serve, eventually forcing a break in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead. He held at love to close out for his fifth career title when Nishikori hit a forehand long.

Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open finalist, predicted he’d be back again.

“First time to be in the finals, so I was very happy this week,” Nishikori said. “I hope I can come back next year – someday I want to win this title.”