Dimitrov downs Kyrgios to claim first ATP 1000 crown
Grigor Dimitrov got the better of Nick Kyrgios to claim his first ATP 1000 title with victory at the Western and Southern Open on Sunday.
Neither man had previously reached a final at this level, and it was the Bulgarian who proved he had the composure to come out on top with a 6-3 7-5 success in Cincinnati.
Kyrgios had provided a glimpse of what he can achieve by harnessing his undoubted talent in defeating top seed Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, but the Australian lost the key moments against the clinical Dimitrov.
A single break in each set was enough for Dimitrov to prevail as he celebrated the biggest victory of his career while it remains to be seen how Kyrgios will react to the loss after the promise shown in such a mature performance against Nadal.
After four games dominated by serve, Dimitrov was the first to come under pressure but managed to stave off Kyrgios' break-point opportunity.
It was then Kyrgios' turn to show his mettle in the next game but, unlike his opponent, he cracked at the crucial juncture and sent a forehand into the net to hand the Bulgarian a 4-2 lead.
Dimitrov was forced to save another break point immediately afterwards but was far more comfortable in holding to love to see out the set in his next service game.
The early stages of the second set followed much the same pattern as that of the first until game seven, when Kyrgios produced two big serves out wide to save break points, followed by a monster ace down the middle that had fans in the front row behind Dimitrov ducking for cover.
But the Australian's serve let him down when he double faulted in the 11th game to present Dimitrov with a break point, subsequently capitalised upon as Kyrgios went long in the following rally.
After one championship point went begging for Dimitrov at 40-15 in the next game, Kyrgios netted a forehand to allow the Bulgarian to bask in the glory of a maiden Masters triumph.