Sydney, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - In the first all-qualifier final on the ATP World Tour, Serbian Viktor Troicki beat Kazakhstani Mikhail Kukushkin at the Sydney International on Saturday.
Troicki won the second title of his career with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Kukushkin. The Serbian took home $80,000 with the win.
The 28-year-old Troicki improved to 2-4 in ATP World Tour finals, with his previous title coming in 2010 in Moscow. He was the Sydney runner-up in 2011.
Troicki is the first qualifier to win the Sydney title since Jarkko Nieminen in 2012.
"There are a lot of emotions actually," said Troicki. "It's been a tough road, a lot of work, and it paid off with a nice title. If I look back to where I was five, six months ago, it's amazing to have a title already. So it's a really nice moment for me and for all my team. It's very emotional.
"I've got to say I have been working harder than ever probably, and I feel very, very fit. I didn't have any problems. I had eight matches here and luckily I haven't had problems. I feel very fresh again. I feel I can go again good on Monday. Definitely I was working hard and that's paying off. I have inside myself trust in my body, and I feel I can do a lot of things."
Kukushkin fell to 1-2 in his career finals, with his title also coming in St. Petersburg in 2010.
"For sure I can take something positive from this week," said Kukushkin. "A final of an ATP tournament is important. Of course it's something special, and of course it was great for me anyway because I won seven matches.
"To start the season like that, to win so many matches, to get some confidence, is really important. So of course I take something positive from that. But of course it was a disappointing final for me; Viktor just played better today."
Troicki will face Czech Jiri Vesely in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday, while Kukushkin goes against Malek Jaziri. Vesely won the Heineken Open in Auckland on Saturday.