Nick Kyrgios claimed the biggest title of his career on Sunday, earning his third trophy of the season with a three-set win over David Goffin in the final of the Japan Open.
The Australian added the ATP 500 series success to his other two career honours – both earned this breakthrough season – in Marseille and Atlanta.
“It was a great week and I’ll be here again,” said Kyrgios, who fired 25 aces and saved 11 of 12 break points in the two-hour fightback. “I’m going to come here, for sure, for my whole career.
“It was tough, we had a lot of long rallies. The way I returned got me a lot of opportunities. It was a high-quality match, but I got lucky at times as well.
“I played a very tough match against Gael Monfils yesterday, so it took me a little time to get into this match. David makes you feel like the court is very small. My serve got me out of trouble today.”
The winner quickly cleared out of Japan to reach the upcoming Shanghai Masters which began play as his final was in progress.
“Shanghai bound now and back to it all over again. No time to stop and savour anything,” he tweeted.
Kyrgios put his big game on display for eager Japanese fans, who adopted the 21-year-old as a favourite after the early elimination of national tennis hero Kei Nishikori.
“I enjoyed playing in front of the great crowd here. They’re very enthusiastic and very respectful. I have always loved playing in Japan,” he said.
Kyrgios made a massive effort to start turning the match momentum after dropping the first set to the fifth-seeded Goffin.
The 15th-ranked Australian saved five break points to hold for 2-1 in the second set and then broke in the next game on his way to levelling at a set each.
In the third, his break of Goffin for 6-5 made the difference as he served out the win a game later.
Victory helped Kyrgios in the points chase to the season-ending finals next month in London, with the Canberran moving to provisional 12th for the eight-man World Tour Finals.
Kyrgios now stands 38-14 for the season, becoming the fifth men’s player to win three or more titles in 2016.