Grigor Dimitrov has enjoyed a career breakthrough in Cincinnati after advancing to his first ever ATP Masters final.
Dimitrov got past American John Isner in a tense encounter, sealing a 7-6(4) 7-6(10) victory after falling at the same stage of the tournament last year.
Dimitrov will take Nick Kyrgios in what at the start of the week would have been considered an unlikely final, after the Australian beat David Ferrer – also in two tiebreaks.
The Bulgarian had three times reached the semifinals a Masters event – in Rome and Canada in 2014, and Cincinnati last year.
Kyrgios, too, has never been to a Masters final; earlier this year he held match point against Roger Federer in the Miami semis.
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) August 20, 2017
Dimitrov finally broke through on Saturday, sealing victory in two hours and three minutes and celebrating vociferously.
“I want to have these tough matches before the last Grand Slam of the year,” Dimitrov said.
“It shows I’m able to take the right decisions, tomorrow will be a step further for me.”
For Kyrgios, it’s all about keeping the occasion in perspective.
“Obviously, I’m excited, but it’s just another tennis match to me,” he said. “I’ll just go out and serve and whatever happens, happens. It’ll be a tough match.”
Kyrgios held a match point in the 10th game with Ferrer serving, but the Spaniard got out of trouble and forced the set to a tiebreak.
But Kyrgios simply had too much firepower for the former world No.3, blasting 14 aces en route to victory in an almost identical time to Dimitrov.
“He served really good,” said the 35-year-old Ferrer. “I didn’t have chance in the second tiebreak. In important moments with the second serve, he played aggressive.”
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 20, 2017
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