Grigor Dimitrov won his first Masters 1000 title on Sunday in Cincinnati, defeating Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 to claim the Western & Southern Open championship.
It was a match-up of two first-time Masters finalists, slugging it out of the for their biggest career title. But some strong serving and play from Dimitrov plus three double faults from Kyrgios to give a break were the difference.
“I’m just happy and I’m humbled to have that trophy in my hands, and especially to win here, my first Masters 1000,” said the 26-year-old Bulgarian who didn’t drop serve in his last three matches.
It was Dimitrov’s third title of the year, matching his career-best 2014 when he won three.
Dimitrov did not drop a set all week becoming the first Cincinnati winner to do that since Roger Federer in 2015.
“Going to the [US] Open, it’s for sure a lot of positivity with it, but the most important thing now is just to stay grounded, keep on doing the same work, believe in myself, and just prepare the best way that I can for the Open,” Dimitrov said.
Kyrgios was a question mark entering the week after withdrawing or retiring from several events with hip and shoulder injuries.
Dimitrov improved to 3-0 in finals this year and 7-5 career. Kyrgios was looking for his first title of the season and fell to 3-2 in career finals.
Kyrgios, who had battled hip and shoulder issues during the summer, says fitness made the difference.
“I was struggling a couple of weeks ago and he got me out on the practice court. We practiced for an hour-and-a-half and I was struggling and he was fresh,” Kyrgios said. “You had me mentally today already. I was like, ‘I know this guy’s fitter than me.’”
Dimitrov is the fourth different Masters champion of the season and he joins a list of 11 other active players to have won at this level.
The tournament, however, was marred by withdrawals and injuries as just of the Top 10 players began.
Dimitrov will head to the US Open as the No. 7 seed, Kyrgios the 15 after his best career Masters result.
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