Bulgarian seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov clinched the biggest win of his career when he beat Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-5 in the final of the Cincinnati Open on Sunday.
It was his first Masters Final.
Dimitrov, who has toiled through his career with little reward against the game’s ‘Big Four’, grasped his opportunity against the talented but unpredictable Kyrgios.
One break in each set was enough for Dimitrov, 26, to prevail under a broiling afternoon sun on the outdoor hardcourt for his seventh career victory, and his first in a Masters 1000 series event.
Kyrgios could not reproduce the brilliance he displayed in beating Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals, though the Australian displayed some grit to dig himself out from under two break points in the seventh game of the second set.
Alas, it was not enough, as Dimitrov pounced on another break chance in the 11th game and then served out for victory.
Also in Cincinnati, Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza fine-tuned her preparations for this month’s U.S. Open by crushing Simona Halep 6-1 6-0 in the final on Sunday.
Muguruza’s tennis was as hot as the summer sun in the early afternoon match on the outdoor hardcourt, as she wrapped up victory in less than an hour.
The Wimbledon champion kept her opponent pinned to the baseline and improved her career record to 3-1 against the Romanian second seed.
With the loss, Halep once again fell one win short of rising to the top of the world rankings.
The Romanian, looking to supplant Karolina Pliskova from the top spot, entered the final without dropping a set all week but on Sunday her game fell apart.
Halep’s second serve proved to be a liability, winning only 11 percent.
Spaniard Muguruza, who had failed to capture a title for more than a year following her triumph at last year’s French Open, was now celebrating winning two trophies in as many months as she backed up her Wimbledon victory with her glorious run in Cincinnati.