Grigor Dimitrov secured his place in Western & Southern Open history Sunday afternoon by winning his maiden singles title in Mason.
It was the biggest championship of his young career. By defeating World No. 23 Nick Kyrgios in a 6-3, 7-5 championship, 11th-ranked Dimitrov earned his first Masters 1000 tournament title.
“I’m just happy. There’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,” Dimitrov said.
“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, so…I will listen to my gut feeling a bit more.”
The 20-somethings made for a unique W&S Open final, as Sunday marked the first men’s title match since 2006 without a Top 10 player. The championship also featured two first-time Masters 1000 finalists, a tour-first since 2002.
Seventh-seeded Dimitrov denied his opponent’s bid to be the lowest-ranked W&S Open champ since 1975 (No. 49 Tom Gorman). In all, Dimitrov amassed wins over Feliciano Lopez, Juan Martin del Potro, Yuichi Sugita, John Isner and Kyrgios, and he did not drop a set all week.
The 26-year-old’s reward included the Rookwood Cup, $954,225 in prize winnings and 1,000 ranking points. Unseeded Kyrgios, 22, claimed $467,880 and 600 ranking points.
Long rallies and crafty returns dominated the first four games as both players held serve. Kyrgios had a chance to break Dimitrov in the fifth game but failed to win an extended rally.
Dimitrov broke Kyrgios soon after, dumping the ball into the net and falling behind 4-2. Kyrgios repeated the miscue on his second break point opportunity.
While he amassed 11 unforced errors in the 34-minute first set, Kyrgios retained a strong service game that gave Dimitrov problems.