Nick Kyrgios in action.
Nick Kyrgios in action. MARK LYONS

Kyrgios in a happier place after reaching final

NICK Kyrgios has described his surge into the Western & Southern Open final as a miracle despite losing his maiden Masters Series decider to Grigor Dimitrov.

Struggling to reconcile successive wins over David Goffin, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ivo Karlovic, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, Kyrgios said mental and physical struggles left him totally without confidence.

Citing a 3-6 3-0 retirement against world No 106 Tennys Sandgren in Washington last month as a low point of a challenging season, Kyrgios said he was "just happy being out there" after losing 6-3 7-5 to Dimitrov in Cincinnati.

"Where I was three weeks ago, I wasn't in a good place at all," Kyrgios said.

"I mean, I was down 6-3 3-0 to Tennys Sandgren and now I'm in the finals of a Masters event. I think that's a very Nick Kyrgios thing to do.

"I really don't know. It's crazy. I was not in a good place. I don't know how I'm here, to be honest. I really don't know. It's a miracle.

"Yeah, I mean, looking back from where I was a couple weeks ago, I would have never thought I would have had my first 1000 event final.

"So I'm pretty happy with the result. You know, from where I was to here, it's just been amazing.

"It (victory) couldn't have gone to a more deserving player. He's really got his game back on track. I think he's starting to be where I think I pictured him being."

Dimitrov defused Kyrgios' ballistic armoury to return to the top 10, while the Australian rises to No 18.

Kyrgios' defeat leaves Lleyton Hewitt, who downed Gustavo Kuerten in Indian Wells in 2003, as Australia's most recent Masters champion.

Kyrgios praised Dimitrov post-match, revealing the Bulgarian had helped him lift out of the mental doldrums after "dragging me out on the practice court."

"I was struggling a couple of weeks ago and Grigor got me out on the practice court," Kyrgios said after hugging his conqueror at the net.

"I' was struggling mentally and he was fresh and it really helped me.

"It's been great to see you back in top form, I always knew you had it in you."

In the first Masters final featuring two players yet to win a 1000 series event since Guillermo Canas beat Andy Roddick in Toronto in 2002, Dimitrov always held sway.

Virtually untouchable on serve over the past week, Kyrgios double-faulted three times in the 11th game of the second set just as he was clawing his way back into the contest.

The Canberran had been stretched by Dimitrov's, making 31 unforced errors - including 16 off his backhand wing.

Kyrgios's 15 aces were offset by four double faults - and the timing of a self-imploding treble.

In the absence of Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori from next week's US Open, will enjoy a top-16 seeding at Flushing Meadows.

The right-hander earned almost $590,000 - the largest payday of his career.

Kyrgios had the first chance of the match when a pair of Dimitrov double-faults gifted the Australian a break point in the fifth game, but the Bulgarian survived when Kyrgios erred with a forehand.

Two more Kyrgios forehand errors in the following game presented Dimitrov with a 4-2 lead before dual grand slam semi-finalist survived another break point.

Dominating from the baseline, Dimitrov sealed the first set in 34 minutes.

Kyrgios twice served his way out of trouble in the seventh game when Dimitrov held two break points.

But nothing could save him four games later when - inexplicably - he double-faulted three times before shoving a forehand long to present Dimitrov with a 6-5 lead

Kyrgios will practise with American Jack Sock in Kansas before heading to New York for the last grand slam of the season.