Troicki crushes Kukushkin to win Sydney title

Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:57am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Serbian Viktor Troicki took a big step on his comeback trail after a doping ban by ruthlessly dismantling fellow qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2 6-3 to win the Sydney International on Saturday.

The 28-year-old righthander, who returned to action last July after serving a one-year ban for missing a dope test, took just over an hour to claim his second career ATP title.

A rampant Troicki won the last four games of the first set and was 4-1 up in the second when Kukushkin took a medical timeout to have treatment on his left thigh.

The Kazakh had made his way to the final without losing a set, including in his quarter-final victory over Juan Martin Del Potro, but his mobility had been key to his progress.

The world number 66 rallied to win the next two games for his only break of serve in the contest and offered hope of an extended contest to the neutrals on Ken Rosewall Arena.

Troicki, however, was just too strong and, roared on by vocal support from Sydney's ethnic Serb community, broke back before serving out the match to love, sealing victory with his 13th ace.

"We both came through the qualis so it was a tough week and we're heading to straight to Melbourne where we play on Monday," Troicki said after receiving the trophy from Australian tennis great Rosewall.

"There's no stopping."   Continued...

Viktor Troicki of Serbia holds the men's singles trophy after defeating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney, January 17, 2015.    REUTERS/Jason Reed