Dimitrov and Kyrgios save the day in Cincinnati

 

By Matt Bradshaw

  • Grigor Dimitrov [7] vs Nick Kyrgrios
  • Head to head – Dimitrov leads 1-0
  • Two of the most exciting young ATP players save a tournament that disappointed fans had hoped would showcase a Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer final
CINCINNATI, USA – Sunday will give tennis fans a first time Masters 1000 champion and a taste of what the tour will be like after Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

 

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Grigor Dimitrov [7] v Nick Kyrgios – H2H Dimitrov leads 1-0

Tennis fans in Cincinnati were treated on Saturday to a pair of semi-final matches that produced nail biting tie-break wins for the finalists. The day’s ATP action was kicked off with Grigor Dimitrov going toe to toe with the monster server John Isner and prevailing 7-6(4) 7-6(10).

“Today was one of those matches that I really had to just be patient, I knew I’m not going to have that many rallies against John“ said Dimitrov in his post match press conference.

Dimitrov continued: “I mean, I know it’s nerve-wracking from outside, but it’s even tougher when you’re in there and have to receive a serve that comes 141 miles an hour.”

After the first set finished with a tiebreak the second set produced some of the best play of the tournament as Dimitrov closed out the match with a second set tiebreaker that took twenty-two points for the Bulgarian to win. Dimitrov later shared in his press conference a bit of locker room talk he enjoyed with Isner regarding a particularly wild point from the second set.

“I was telling (Isner) him, that pass that you did, man, on the forehand side I was thinking of diving at this one. He says, Why didn’t you? I was, like, Man the ball was so high and you’re so tall. No chance for me to dive” Dimitrov said laughing.

Nick Kyrgios, Western & Southern Open, ATP Cincinnati Masters 1000 2017

Photo by AP/REX/Shutterstock | Nick Kyrgios, Western & Southern Open, ATP Cincinnati Masters 1000 2017

The second men’s semi-final of the day featured a defiant and determined David Ferrer who was forced to save match points against his 22-year-old challenger Nick Kyrgios as the Spaniard served to stay alive in the second set. When Ferrer finally held serve for 5-5 the crowd let out a roar almost begging for a third set but it was ultimately not to be as Kyrgios booked his place in tomorrow’s final with a 7-6(1), 7-6(4) win over the fiery Spaniard.

Kyrgios revealed in his post match press-conference the respect he has for Ferrer and a bit of training/conditioning advice the veteran player gave to him years ago: “Learn to suffer. That’s what David Ferrer said to Nick Kyrgios when I was eating KFC every day, pretty fat, not a great athlete. I was like, I don’t know, this guy is crazy.”

Fans are hoping to see an instant classic of a men’s final on Sunday like the match we saw earlier this year in Miami when Roger Federer barely edged past Kyrgios in the Semi-finals 7-6, 6-7, 7-6.

Kyrgios even went as far as to compare Federer and Dimitrov in his post match press conference: “He’s got a great game. If he’s feeling it, he’s an unbelievable athlete. He can serve great. Has a great forehand, obviously slice, very similar to Roger, I think, obviously.”

The key for Dimitrov is to play a style like Federer (despite trying to shake off the ‘Baby Fed’ tag he earned in his younger days) and keep Kyrgios off balance with the variety of shot they can both produce. Closing points out at net whenever possible wouldn’t hurt either.

For Kyrgios to win top shelf serving will be required as well as a constant attack on the Dimitrov backhand wing. Dimitrov’s slice can be a weapon but if he feels overwhelmed on that side by a heavy ball that Kyrgios can hit when he’s on his game it will be quite challenging for Dimitrov to use his slice backhand as aggressively as he’s done all week long.

Prediciton: Dimitrov in three sets

The men’s Final will start on Sunday not before 4pm (9pm BST)

Main Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock 

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