Dimitrov reaches first Masters final
Grigor Dimitrov moved into the biggest final of his career as he edged a pulsating clash with John Isner 7-6(4) 7-6(10) at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati
In a serve-orientated contest, the Bulgarian was resolute in both tiebreaks as he scored his first victory over the American at the second attempt.
It was a heartbreaking defeating for the American - who was not broken once in the tournament - and he will now turn his focus to next week’s Winston-Salem Open.
Dimitrov’s perseverance has finally been rewarded after a tough few seasons and he has an opportunity to win his first Masters title against David Ferrer or Nick Kyrgios on Sunday. The 26-year-old has been making steady progress under the guidance of Dani Vallverdu and he has a great opportunity to reach the World Tour Finals in November.
The opener was played in the manner expected. Both players rattled through service holds and a tiebreak was unsurprisingly reached after 12 quick-fire games.
The shootout was tight and tense but it was Dimitrov who made the first move. The Bulgarian directed a scrumptious backhand passing-shot winner beyond his rival to secure a precious minibreak and move 3-2 ahead. Fine serving helped the world No.11 protect his narrow advantage and clinically claim the opener.
The second set bounded along at pace however the Bulgarian did carve open a match-point on the Isner serve in the tenth game. The American quickly snuffed out the danger with a monstrous delivery and a tiebreak was eventually necessary.
Under significant pressure, for different reasons, both players showed their quality in a thrilling shootout that ebbed and flowed. After 22 keenly-contested points, though, Dimitrov emerged the victor after Isner slammed a makeable forehand into the net.
In the first women’s semi-final, Garbine Muguruza powered past the defending champion, Karolina Pliskova, 6-3 6-2. The confident Spaniard did not drop serve as she took out the world No.1 with unerring ease.
"To beat the player that is now No.1 is very good,” said the Wimbledon champion. "I felt pretty good out there and in control, everything was going my way. I think I was very precise with my shot and I played very well.”