For the first time in the history of the ATP World Tour, two qualifiers faced off in the final of the tournament to determine who would lift the Apia Sydney International title. In the end, world No. 92 Viktor Troicki was victorious against Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2, 6-3.
This marked the Serb’s second ever victory over Kukushkin and lasted a mere 64 minutes. He struck 13 aces and won 73% of his first service points to close out the contest in straightforward fashion.
“There are a lot of emotions actually,” said Troicki. “It’s been a tough road, a lot of work, and it paid off with a nice title. If I look back to where I was five, six months ago, it’s amazing to have a title already. So it’s a really nice moment for me and for all my team. It’s very emotional.
“I’ve got to say I have been working harder than ever probably, and I feel very, very fit,” added the Serb. “I didn’t have any problems. I had eight matches here and luckily I haven’t had problems. I feel very fresh again. I feel I can go again good on Monday. Definitely I was working hard and that’s paying off. I have inside myself trust in my body, and I feel I can do a lot of things.”
Troicki earned $80,000 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts. Kukushkin won $42,100 and 150 ranking points.
“For sure I can take something positive from this week,” said Kukushkin. “A final of an ATP tournament is important. Of course it’s something special, and of course it was great for me anyway because I won seven matches.
Kukushkin, who begins his Aussie Open against Malek Jaziri, is satisfied with his start to the season – a week that included a quarter-final victory over Juan Martin del Potro.
“To start the season like that, to win so many matches, to get some confidence, is really important. So of course I take something positive from that. But of course it was a disappointing final for me; Viktor just played better today.”