SYDNEY (AFP) – Viktor Troicki won the battle of the qualifiers to claim his second career title with a straight sets win over Mikhail Kukushkin in the final of the Sydney International on Saturday.
Troicki crushed Kukushkin 6-2, 6-3 in a victory that will send the Serb moving up the world rankings.
The one-time world No12, who won his first title in Moscow five years ago, spiralled to 847th before his return from suspension last July, but is expected to be back in the top 70 on Monday from his current 92.
“A lot of emotions. It’s been a tough road, a lot of work, and it paid off with a nice title,” Troicki said.
“If I look back where I was five, six months ago it’s amazing to have a title already. So it’s really nice moment for me and for all my team. It’s very emotional.”
Troicki, 28, was forced to serve a 12-month ban for failing to take a blood test at the Monte Carlo Masters in 2013, and is eager to make up for lost time.