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Dimitrov, Kyrgios capitalize on opportunity to set up intriguing Cincinnati final


By Ricky Dimon


Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios are thought to be two of the top contenders for Masters 1000 and slam titles whenever the Big 4 era comes to an end.


But they are contending with the Big 4 still around. Of course, it helps that only one of the aforementioned quartet competed in Cincinnati.


With Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic on the shelf, Dimitrov and Kyrgios have played their way into Sunday’s title match. They picked up respective hard-fought, straight-set semifinal victories over John Isner and David Ferrer to set up what should be an entertaining championship clash.


Dimitrov gave Isner a taste of his own medicine, taking down the huge server and tiebreaker machine 7-6(4), 7-6(10) in two hours and three minutes.


“Today was, I think, one of those matches that I really had to just be patient,” the 11th-ranked Bulgarian explained. “I think that that was the key. I knew I’m not going to have that many rallies against John. I knew that he’s going to serve big, bold serves. I just had to be very composed and use every opportunity that I had. I think in the end of the match, it was just a few points that made the biggest difference for me.


“I’m just happy with the way I kept myself together throughout the whole match–just remained calm in those tough moments. I mean, I know it’s nerve-wracking from outside, but it’s even tougher when you’re in there and have to receive a serve that comes 141 miles an hour.”


Ferrer also had to receive a few of those; too many, in fact, for his Cincinnati run to continue. The 35-year-old Spaniard held all 12 of his service games, but he never managed to earn a break of his own. Just like in the Dimitrov-Isner showdown, both sets progressed to tiebreakers without a single break of serve. In the end, Kyrgios had too much firepower in the pressure-packed moments and prevailed 7-6(3), 7-6(4) after two hours and four minutes.


The 22-year-old Australian out-aced his opponent 14 to one and won an impressive 43 of 48 first-serve points. Each man saved three of three break points.


Both Dimitrov and Kyrgios are through to their first-ever Masters 1000 final. Their only previous collision came two years ago in Indian Wells, where Dimitrov survived a thriller 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(4).

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


Editors Note • It’s great to see Nick finally getting interested in tennis. He has a great personality. He is funny. He is mercurial. He reminds us of Nastase. In both talent and temperament. Happy when his mom is travelling. She seems to keep him focused.


Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action against David Ferrer of Spain during their semifinal match in the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, USA, 19 August 2017. EPA/TANNEN MAURY

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in action against John Isner of the US during their semifinal match in the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, USA, 19 August 2017. EPA/TANNEN MAURY