Grigor Dimitrov, of Bulgaria, right, holds the Rookwood Cup after defeating  Nick Kyrgios
Grigor Dimitrov, of Bulgaria, right, holds the Rookwood Cup after defeating Nick Kyrgios John Minchillo

Kyrgios overpowered in Cincinnati Open final

AUSTRAIA's long Masters Series drought continues after Grigor Dimitrov defused Nick Kyrgios' ballistic armoury to win the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The Bulgarian tamed Kyrgios' fearsome serve and forehand combination to claim his maiden ATP World Tour Masters crown with a 6-3 7-5 triumph.

Kyrgios' defeat - after excellent wins over incoming world No 1 Rafael Nadal, David Ferreror and Ivo Karlovic - 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 warmly 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."


epa06153864 Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during the finals of the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason Ohio, USA 20 August 2017.  EPA/MARK LYONS
Kyrgios in action against Grigor Dimitrov at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason Ohio MARK LYONS

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 defence, 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.

Kyrgios climbs to world No 18 and, with 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 practice with American Jack Sock before heading to New York for the last grand slam of the season.