Japan’s Kei Nishikori has joined his coach Michael Chang on the honour roll at Kooyong after shocking world No.7 Tomas Berdych to win the AAMI Classic.
Nishikori, the 16th seed at next week’s Australian Open, turned the tables on the rangy Czech after an earlier loss to take the title 6-4 7-5.
He was watched in the stands by former French Open champion Chang, a three-time winner at the Melbourne venue from 1995-97.
It continues a promising start to the year for the 24-year-old who was eliminated in the Brisbane International semi-finals by Lleyton Hewitt.
Nishikori broke Berdych in the second game of the match and served for the set at 5-3 but was broken.
Berdych got to 40-15 and looked like he was going to square the set at 5-5 but the Japan No.1 fought back to take it out.
The match appeared headed into a third set but Nishikori saved two break points at 5-5 and then broke the Czech to wrap up the title with a searing cross-court backhand.