PETE ZIEBRON in CINCINNATI
Grigor Dimitrov wins the biggest title of his career at the Western & Southern Open. Photo Courtesy: Christopher Johnson Grand Slam Magazine
Seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov defeated a red hot Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-5 to win the Western & Southern Open and his first Masters 1000 title on Sunday. The hard court win was his 24th this year on the surface, breaking a tie for the lead on the ATP Tour with Kyrgios, Roger Federer and Jack Sock.
Kyrgios had two chances to break the Bulgarian midway through the opening set and after he failed to capitalize on the opportunities, was broken in his next service game. The in the second set, Kyrgios toed the service line at 5 games all, having hit 14 aces and a single double fault. Yet he would double fault 3 times in the eleventh game alone and provided Dimitrov with an opportunity to serve for the title. Last year's semifinalist did just that and hoisted the trophy shortly after winning the last game of the match.
After the match, Dimitrov shared the importance of breaking in the first set: "I think the first set was very important, for sure. I thought he served pretty well."
Nick Kyrgios had a monster week at the Western & Southern Open. Photo Courtesy: Christopher Johnson Grand Slam Magazine
Meanwhile, Kyrgios acknowledged the fact that he was spent as he served to stay in the match when I asked him what went wrong at the end: "I was feeling it, to be honest. I was feeling it physically. I was pretty tired. I played a lot of matches this week. I haven't been used to that, to be honest.
You know, it's been my first week in a while where I have played, you know, five tough back-to-back matches, and obviously that day when I played two in one day was tough.
I was feeling it. I thought he definitely looked fresher out of the two of us. He's unbelievably fit. He trains very, very hard."
Dimitrov started the year with a stellar 16-1 record with titles in Brisbane and Sofia. Kyrgios defeated Novak Djokovic in consecutive tournaments at the Acapulco 500 and the Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells. The Aussie also took out Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals at the Miami Masters 1000.
This year's finals edition of the Western & Southern Open featured two first time Masters 1000 finalists since 2002 in Toronto when Guillermo Canas defeated Andy Roddick. With all of the injuries on the ATP Tour, perhaps it may not be another 15 years until two more first time Masters 1000 finalists meet for the title.