Kyrgios, Dimitrov Advance to Western & Open Final
Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios both advanced their Masters 1000 final with semifinal wins Saturday at the Western & Southern Open.
Seven-seed Dimitrov edged American John Isner 7-6(4), 7-6(10), advancing to his third final of the year. He lifted the title at Brisbane and Sofia earlier this season.
“I think it’s a good step,” said Dimitrov. “It’s a good step. I have been on the tour for quite some time now, and I appreciate those moments. I’m starting to appreciate them even more.”
Isner saw a pair of break points with Dimitrov serving at 2-3, 15-40 but was unable to convert either break point. The first set went to a tiebreak where Dimitrov would hit a 95mph backhand into the corner to get a mini-break and a 3-2 lead. He would ride out that point to take the first set 7-6(4).
Both players had their chances to break in the second half with Dimitrov having a match point with Isner serving at 4-5. Isner would respond with a booming serve out wide to send the second set to tiebreak. Again both players had their chances to take the set, with Isner failing to convert two set points and Dimitrov unable to convert two more match points.
It wasn’t until Dimitrov’s fourth match point that he was able to convert, as Isner dumped a forehand into the net. Both players ended the match with 27 winners, but Dimitrov proved steadier committing only 22 unforced errors to Isner’s 37.
The loss marks the 20th time in Isner’s career that he lost while not dropping serve.
The second men’s semifinal saw Nick Kyrgios defeat veteran David Ferrer 7-6(3), 7-6(4), his first final of the year.
Kyrgios, who has struggled with hip and shoulder injuries this summer, looks to be healthy again as he works to regain his form that saw him reach the Miami Open semifinals where he lost to eventual champion Roger Federer.
“He was a nightmare to play, especially because, you know, I’m a tall guy and he’s not the tallest guy,” Nick Kyrgios said of his opponent. “He hits the ball pretty flat. You know, the whole time there is nothing shoulder height for me to hit. I’m always trying to hit underneath and trying to hit up and over it.”
Against Ferrer, Kyrgios was forced to chase down ball after ball, being ran from corner to corner by the Spaniard. Kyrgios benefitted from a Ferrer double fault at 1-2 in the first set tiebreak and using his big serve-forehand combo to take the first set 7-6(3).
Kyrgios settled in to the match moving into the second set, setting two break points with Ferrer serving at 2-2 but would fail to convert. With Ferrer serving at 5-6, Kyrgios would get a chance again, creating a match point before Ferrer held serve.
In the second set tiebreak, it was again Kyrgios coming up with the big shots, hitting his 13th and 14th aces of the match, setting up three more match points. He’d convert on his second match point as Ferrer pushed a backhand long.
The women’s semifinals saw 4-seed Garbine Muguruza defeat top-ranked Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2 and 2-seed Simona Halep defeat American Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-1. With Pliskova’s loss and Halep’s victory, Halep only needs to win the Western & Southern title to claim the No. 1 ranking on the WTA tour, a ranking she has failed to reach on three occasions since losing the in the French Open championship earlier this year.