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By Ricky DimonBetter late than never for Grigor Dimitrov.

Hailed as “Baby Fed” compared to Roger Federer and tipped as a potential future world No. 1 almost a decade ago, Dimitrov is finally a champion of one of the ATP Tour’s biggest tournaments. The 26-year-old triumphed at the Western & Southern Open on Sunday afternoon, capturing his first carer Masters 1000 title by beating Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5. Dimitrov held all 11 of his service games, saving both of the break points he faced, to prevail after one hour and 25 minutes.

For the most part it was another high-quality contest on both players’ accounts, until Kyrgios cracked for the last time at 5-5 in the second set. The 22-year-old Australian tossed in three double-faults in that game alone–having previously doubled only once–as Dimitrov broke for 6-5.

The Bulgarian serve it out in style, putting the exclamation point on his performance with an incredible on-the-run forehand at 15-0.

“I’m just happy,” Dimitrov assured. T”here’s nothing else I can say, honestly. I’m just happy and I’m humbled to have that trophy in my hands, and especially to win here, my first Masters 1000. It’s just amazing. I always like this tournament. I have played it quite a few times and always thought this can be maybe one of the first ones, and it is the first one.”

Kyrgios was also looking for his first Masters 1000 title. The world No. 23 ultimately came up short, but not before turning in an amazing run that featured a quarterfinal upset of top seed and new world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

“Looking back from where I was a couple weeks ago, I would have never thought I would have had my first 1000 event final,” said Kyrgios, who has dealt with a hip injury throughout the summer. “So I’m pretty happy with the result. You know, from where I was to here, it’s just been amazing.

“[The title] couldn’t have gone to a more deserving player,” Kyrgios added. “[Dimitrov has] really got his game back on track. I think he’s starting to be where I think I pictured him being.”

Both players now head to New York for the year’s final Grand Slam. The U.S. Open begins next Monday.

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