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Andy Murray beats Dimitrov 7-6 (0), 6-4 to defend title at Brisbane International

  • Andy Murray of Britain holds the winner's trophy after winning the men's final match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6, 6-4 during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan 6, 2013.  (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).

    Andy Murray of Britain holds the winner's trophy after winning the men's final match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6, 6-4 during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).  (The Associated Press)

  • Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after winning the men's final match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6, 6-4 during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.  (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).

    Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after winning the men's final match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6, 6-4 during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).  (The Associated Press)

  • Andy Murray of Britain plays a shot in the men's final match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. Murray kicked off 2013 with a successful defense of his Brisbane International title, holding off the up-and-coming Dimitrov 7-6 (0), 6-4 in Sunday's final. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).

    Andy Murray of Britain plays a shot in the men's final match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. Murray kicked off 2013 with a successful defense of his Brisbane International title, holding off the up-and-coming Dimitrov 7-6 (0), 6-4 in Sunday's final. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard).  (The Associated Press)

Andy Murray kicked off 2013 with a successful defense of his Brisbane International title, holding off the up-and-coming Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (0), 6-4 in Sunday's final.

The 21-year-old Dimitrov raced to a 4-1 lead in his first ATP World Tour final, stunning Murray with some impressive single-handed backhands, but lost his nerve and was broken when serving for the set at 5-3. After getting back on serve, No. 3-ranked Murray saved a set-point with an ace and forced a tiebreaker, which he dominated.

Murray began his breakthrough season in 2012 by winning in Brisbane and followed that up later with career-changing titles at the London Olympics and U.S. Open.

He heads into the Australian Open, starting Jan. 14, as the reigning major champion.