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Troicki records famous Sydney victory

Viktor Troicki has capped a stirring comeback to tennis with victory at Apia International Sydney 2015, his second career title.
17 January 2015, by AAP

Viktor Troicki has capped a stirring comeback to tennis with victory at Apia International Sydney 2015, his second career title.

Troicki crushed fellow qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2 6-3 in the final on Saturday night in a victory that will send the Serb rocketing back up the rankings.

The one-time world No.12 – who won his first title in Moscow five years ago – spiralled to 847th before his return last July from a year off the tour, but will find himself back in the top 70 on Monday.

In the first ATP final in history featuring two qualifiers, Troicki dispatched Kukushkin in 64 minutes after breaking the Kazakh twice in each set.

Troicki started and finished the match with an ace, crunching a dozen in all to atone somewhat for his finals loss to Frenchman Gilles Simon at Sydney Olympic Park in 2011.

In a twist of fate, Troicki will launch his Australian Open campaign on Monday against another victorious qualifier, Czech Jiri Vesely, who earlier on Saturday won the ATP Auckland title from qualifying.

Troicki said it was a special tournament for both finalists and hoped both could cause some damage at the year’s first Grand Slam.

“It’s been a great week,” he said.

“We both came from qualifying. It was a tough tournament for both of us, but it was a good week for both of us.

“And we both play on Monday, so we are continuing on. There’s no stopping us.”

Kukushkin, who will edge from 66th towards his career-high of 48th in the rankings on Monday, will play Tunisia’s world No.74 Malek Jaziri in his opener in Melbourne.