His parents left early, but Dimitrov stayed to finish the job in Brisbane final

Bulgarian claims ninth career title
January 07, 2024
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Grigor Dimitrov celebrates his second title in Brisbane. By ATP Staff

Grigor Dimitrov picked one of his favourite tournaments at which to snap a six-year title drought Sunday, beating Holger Rune 7-6(5), 6-4 in the Brisbane International presented by Evie final to collect his ninth ATP Tour title.

There was just one disappointment: Dimitrov’s parents, Dimitar and Maria, had to leave the final early to catch a flight home.

"I told them goodbye before the match and I was checking the clock a few times to see if I would finish the match a little earlier but unfortunately it was not that easy,” Dimitrov said.

"But it's been amazing to have them around the past two to three weeks. They have to go back to work, have to go back to their own lives. I think we have a great balance the way we see each other. I'm going to try to make that happen more throughout the year."

Spotting Rune 12 years in age, Dimitrov, 32, claimed his first title since the Nitto ATP Finals in 2017, when he also began the year with a title in Brisbane, where he holds more match wins (23) than any other player.

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“It’s been a while since I held one of these, it’s a bit emotional,” Dimitrov said as he lifted the trophy. "My love affair started here many years ago in Brisbane and it continues. I’m very thankful to lift the trophy again.”

Dimitrov revealed during the trophy presentation that his parents had to leave for the airport and were unable to see him cap the week with a title.

Rune told fans during the presentation, “It’s a great start to the year and we have a lot to build on. Hopefully we can go one step further at the Australian Open.”

Rune came out with the clear intent to overpower the Bulgarian, but the former World No. 3 leaned into his serve and net play to run out a deserving winner in an entertaining final.

After dropping the first set in his season opener to Andy Murray, Dimitrov played himself into form during the tournament, winning 10 straight sets. He also improved to 2-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Rune.

Dimitrov's title run lifts him one place to No. 13 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. He is eyeing a return to the Top 10 for the first time since October 2018.


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