Kei Nishikori had amassed quite the finals record by the time he stepped onto Pat Rafter Arena to take on rising Russian star Daniil Medvedev on Sunday night in Brisbane.
Since winning the ATP event in Memphis in February of 2016, Japan's leading male player had managed to lose all nine of his next deciders. Medvedev had won three titles just last year, one of them against Nishikori... in Japan, just to rub salt into the wound.
The loose-limbed 22-year-old, seeded fourth in Brisbane, had beaten the in-form Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals and looked more than a live chance to extend Nishikori's impressive run of outs at the point end of tournaments.
Alas, for the Japanese cult figure, it was to be at long last. By and large, the final was an extension of the rock-solid tennis he produced all week as he won 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 and was for once the man making the winner's speech, not politely applauding as the gallant loser.