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Kyrgios dispatches Dimitrov to reach Brisbane final

Nick Kyrgios is the first Australian to reach the final of the Brisbane International since Lleyton Hewitt in 2014. Reuters/Patrick Hamilton

Nick Kyrgios came from a set down on Saturday to beat top seed Grigor Dimitrov and advance to the final of the Brisbane International. Kyrgios had lost his two previous matches against the Bulgarian and another defeat loomed after Dimitrov claimed the opener 6-3.

But the Australian 22-year-old, roared on by the partisans, stormed through the second set. He won that 6-1 to level the match. At 3-3 in the decider, Kyrgios broke Dimitrov to lead 4-3 and he served out to claim the victory.

"I hadn't beaten him before so going into the match, I knew that I was going to do something a little different," Kyrgios said. “I did not want to give him too much rhythm so I came into the net a lot and was aggressive with my returns.  

"He played a pretty solid first set. I played a pretty loose game to get broken," Kyrgios added. "From then on, I felt pretty in control of the match."

Dimitrov, who saved a match point, during his last 16 win over the Australian John Millman, was munificent in defeat. “Sometimes you try to change up the game and break the rhythm of a player. I thought that whatever Nick tried seemed to work. He deserved to win.”

The final will be Kyrgios’s first on home soil and his seventh overall. He is the first Australian to reach the Brisbane final since Lleyton Hewitt defeated Roger Federer in 2014.

Earlier the American Ryan Harrison destroyed hopes of an all-Australian final. He beat the 18-year-old wildcard Alex de Minaur in two hours and 37 minutes.

De Minaur’s run to the semis had captured the imagination of the locals. He saw off fourth seed Milos Raonic in the last 16 and the world number 208 beat fellow teenager Michael Mmoh in the last eight.

He appeared on course for the final when, after taking the first set 6-4, he was 5-3 up in the second set tiebreak. But the world number 47 reeled off the next four points to take the game and level the match.

Harrison then broke de Minaur twice at the start of the decider and although the Australian got one break back he was unable to complete the comeback.

Kyrgios, who has beaten Harrison in straight sets in both of their previous matches, said he was ready for a tough fight. “I know that he is a dangerous opponent. He’s a good mover and can serve very well.”