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Murray Retains Brisbane Title; Dimitrov Climbs to Career-High Ranking

Brisbane, Australia

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray captured his 25th tour-level title on Sunday in Brisbane

World No. 3 Andy Murray began his 2013 ATP World Tour season by winning a second-straight Brisbane International title, dispatching Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(0), 6-4 on Sunday.

Murray earned $78,800 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points while Dimitrov earned $41,540 and 150 points.

Murray, who dedicated the win to a sick friend, credited Dimitrov for playing aggressively and with a lot of variety. "He plays a lot of different shots, which is tough to play against because you're kept off balance a lot of the time," he said.

The Scot said that he was pleased to start 2013 with an ATP World Tour title, adding that the coming week of training would be important to his preparation for the year's first Grand Slam.

"I hope that the Australian Open goes a bit better for me than it did last year," mulled Murray, who lost to Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set semi-final. "I do feel more relaxed one week out from slam than I have done previously, that's for sure, so I hope that's a good sign."

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Unshaken after being broken in his opening service game, which included a double fault, the top seed saved a set point at 5-6 to force a tie-break against 21 year old Dimitrov, who was bidding to become the first Bulgarian ATP World Tour title winner in the Open Era.

Murray played the perfect tie-break, claiming it 7-0 with an ace on set point.

In the second set, Murray won three successive games trailing 3-4 to seal the victory, which extended his FedEX ATP Head2Head lead over Dimitrov to 2-0.

It's the sixth time the Scot has managed a title defence and it was his 25th tour-level singles title.

Dimitrov, who began the week at No. 48 in the Emirates ATP Rankings is projected to rise to a career-high No. 39 on Monday.

Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Visit the official tournament website

The right-hander said he wasn't overwhelmed with nerves entering ATP World Tour final, and described Murray as one of the sport's best returners. "He's a top guy, so he has his rhythm, his routine on court. He pulled out some really, really good shots when he had to so I didn't feel that I was far, far from winning the set or even the match," he said.

The Bulgarian believes he needs more time on the ATP World Tour before delivering results which feature him in the final weekend of a major. “I think I still need couple of years on the tour to get stronger and be able to hang with these guys all weeks, and especially playing best of five sets,” he said.

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