Grigor Dimitrov downs Nick Kyrgios for Cincinnati Masters crown

Dimitrov captured his seventh and biggest career title on Sunday, defeating Australian Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 to lift the Cincinnati Masters title.

Published: 21st August 2017 08:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2017 02:46 PM   |  A+A-

Grigor Dimitrov, of Bulgaria, holds the Rookwood Cup after defeating Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, in the men's singles final at the Western and Southern Open. | AP

Grigor Dimitrov, of Bulgaria, holds the Rookwood Cup after defeating Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, in the men's singles final at the Western and Southern Open. | AP


CINCINNATI: Grigor Dimitrov captured his seventh and biggest career title Sunday, defeating Australia's Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 to win the ATP Cincinnati Masters and boost his confidence for the US Open.

The 11th-ranked Bulgarian never dropped a set in taking the top prize of $954,225 and his first Masters title, a perfect stepping stone into the year's last Grand Slam event that begins a week from Monday.

"In the big picture, it means a lot to me," Dimitrov said. "I'm pretty confident after that win. This is what I've been practicing for. It's my biggest win so far.

"I'm going to enjoy it for a day or two but then it's back to the routine and prepare for the US Open."

In the highest-level ATP final ever contested between two players born in the 1990s, Dimitrov collected his tour-best 24th hardcourt match victory of the year and third title of 2017 after Brisbane and Sofia.

In Pictures | Garbine Muguruza, Grigor Dimitrov lift crowns at Cincinnati Masters with upset wins

"To have this trophy in my hand, it's just amazing. Going to the Open, it's a lot of positivity," said Dimitrov, on his hottest run since starting the season 16-1.

Kyrgios, who ousted Monday's new world number one Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, has not won an ATP title since taking his third last year in Tokyo.

After battling a hip injury and lack of motivation three weeks ago in Washington, Kyrgios was thrilled at the run to his biggest final yet.

"From where I was to here, it's just amazing," Kyrgios said. "I just feel the way I should. I just didn't want to be out there. I lost today but I feel great with where I'm at now.

"I'm pretty excited for the US Open, enjoying getting out there and getting some wins again."

Rising from that disheartened low point to a Masters final was a shocker, Kyrgios said.

"That's a very Nick Kyrgios thing to do," he said. "Crazy. I really don't know how I did it. It's a miracle."

'I was so nervous'

Not since Guillermo Canas beat Andy Roddick in 2002 at Toronto had two first-time ATP Masters finalists met for a Masters crown.

"I was so nervous," Dimitrov said. "I tried to contain myself. It was one of those matches I knew I could beat him but you never know what's going to come out against you."

"I could have done a few things better. But nerves were there. At the end of the day I was just going for it."

Kyrgios, ranked 23rd, squandered a break chance in the fifth game, sending a forehand wide, and Dimitrov broke in the sixth when the Aussie netted a forehand to seize a 4-2 lead, then held twice to take the first set.

"The first set was very important for sure," Dimitrov said. "I had to find a way to get a few balls back. It came down to a few points and I held my nerve.

"He can generate a lot of power from any position at any time. That's what kept me on my toes the whole time."

Kyrgios used an ace and a service winner to save two break points before holding in the seventh game of the second set.

But Kyrgios double faulted twice in three points to hand Dimitrov a break point and then swatted a forehand beyond the baseline to surrender a break and a 6-5 edge.

Dimitrov, 26, then held for the title, clinching the trophy when Kyrgios, 22, netted a forehand after 85 minutes.

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