Western & Southern Open Champions Crowned
No. 4 Garbine Muguruza brushed aside No. 2 Simona Halep 6-2, 6-1 to win her first Western & Southern Open title, her second title of the season. This marks Muguruza’s first career title on North American soil.
Had Halep won the title, she would displace Karolina Pliskova atop the WTA rankings. Instead Halep, who has now missed four chances to take the top spot since the French Open, will sit just five points behind Pliskova as when the updated rankings come out on Monday.
“I think today was my best performance of the tournament, because I felt like I played 20 hours in that court, you know. I had very long matches,” Muguruza said after the match. “Tt was just there. I think I did few little mistakes and my shots were very [well] placed and I think I was doing almost everything right there.”
With the exception of a marathon seven deuce game in the second set, Muguruza was firmly in control throughout, keeping Halep well behind the baseline, moving her from side to side with her ruthless ground strokes. Muguruza would win the final nine games of the match.
“I was thinking about [Halep reaching No.1]. I’m like, ‘Oh, I wish I was in her situation.’ It must be difficult, but I wanted the title, as well,” the Spaniard confessed. “Now you’re telling me I’m going to be No.3, but I didn’t know that. I feel like a lot of people are asking me about No. 1, stuff like that. All I want is to win the tournaments. That’s what…motivates me always.”
The second singles final of the day saw 7th-seed Grigor Dimitrov win the best title of his career with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Nick Kyrgios. Both men were playing for their first Masters 1000 career title.
The victory marks the 26 year old Bulgarian’s third title of the year, matching a career best three titles in 2014.
“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. 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,” Dimitrov said.
Dimitrov didn’t drop a set all tournament, winning 52 or 53 service games in Cincinnati. He is the first player to win his first Masters 1000 title without dropping a set since Novak Djokovic at the 2007 Miami Open.
After wins against big servers Juan Martin Del Potro and John Isner, Dimitrov put that experience to use as he frustrated Kyrgios often throughout the match with his speed and backhand slice.
Dimitrov broke on his first opportunity of the second set, with Kyrgios serving at 5-5, before serving out the set and match in the next game.
“It came down to a few points I could have done better than him, and I was just able to hold my nerves,” Dimitrov said.
With the victory, Dimitrov gains 1000 Emirates ATP rankings points, moving up two spots to No. 9, and takes home $954,225.