Cincinnati final preview and prediction: Dimitrov vs. Kyrgios

Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they battle for the Western & Southern Open title on Sunday. Their only previous encounter came two years ago on the hard courts of Indian Wells, where Dimitrov prevailed 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(4).

Kyrgios served for that match at 6-5 in the third only to see a sprained ankle suffered late in the contest prevent him from sealing the deal. A hip injury is what has held the 22-year-old Australian back in 2017, but he has still been good enough to earn a provisional top-eight spot for the World Tour Finals if he lifts the trophy in Cincinnati. Kyrgios is one win away from that accomplishment following defeats of David Goffin, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ivo Karlovic, Rafael Nadal, and David Ferrer.

“I’m going to go out there and compete and try to serve big and play big,” the world No. 23 commented. “Whatever happens, happens.”

John Isner served big against Dimitrov on Saturday, but not big enough. In fact, there was not single break of serve in either of the two matches–both of which resulted in a pair of tiebreakers. The 11th-ranked Bulgarian held off Isner 7-6(4), 7-6(10) after two hours and three minutes. He preceded that victory by taking out Feliciano Lopez, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Yuichi Sugita all in straight sets.

Dimitrov has not yet surrendered a set this week and he is now 13-5 lifetime in Cincinnati with a semifinal showing last summer. The seventh seed is supremely confident at this tournament and in what is likely to be a competitive contest, he is more reliable than Kyrgios to hold up physically.

Pick: Dimitrov in 3

56 Comments on Cincinnati final preview and prediction: Dimitrov vs. Kyrgios

  1. Can’t see Kyrgios not taking this one. He’s in too good form right now to come up short in the finals. Dimitrov does deserve the credit for also playing a solid game throughout this tournament, but I think Kyrgios has beaten stronger competition and will bring his A-game to the biggest match of his career so far. Gonna be an electric match nonetheless!

  2. I thought both semis were great, everyone battled until the end. Don’t know who will win tomorrow, Nick has the edge I think, depends where he is mentally. Good luck to both!

  3. Kyrgios has a better chance to break Dimitrov’s serve and has way more firepower than Dimitrov. Kyrgios in 2.

  4. Kyrgios in 3. No one can stop Kyrgios when hes in rhythm like this except for Kyrgios himself. Assuming the same Kyrgios who showed up against Nadal and Ferrer shows up, the pace of play and court speed favors Kyrgios

  5. This could be the anticlimax year with two TOP big 4 coming back to rule men tennis.

    Would be good if from now onwards the big 4 folded replaced by all the young guns winning slams and masters. They’ve ruled for more than a decade.

    Hope that Dimi would lead this charge by winning tonight.

  6. I’m leaning toward Dimitrov in 3. But that’s how I felt yesterday — lacking full confidence in Nick. He came through. May the best man win!

  7. Nick has big chance to win his 1st Master title! I can’t help it but like his talent and the aggressive tennis he displays! A year ago I said he would be the next hope in tennis but he failed me so many times with his irresponsible and irritating behavior. He was well disciplined and played great to beat Rafa, he should just do the same against Dimi. Sadly Rafa and Dimi currently have one thing in common: failing on key points and having mental blockades on crucial points. It can make a difference in the matches like this when Nick should be able to take every opportunity and should benefit from it…

    Nick in 3, unless the spoiled brat turned up again…

  8. I like Ricky’s pick of Dimitrov in 3!

    That is the same score with which Dimi beat Nick in their 1st H2H.

    Both are so evenly matched that this match can end in 2 or 3 sets and either can win! But leaning on Dimi to pull it out as he is the better returner than Nick.

    If Ferrer can take Nick to 2 tight sets why not a 12 years younger,stronger and faster Dimi take Nick further?

    BB=Over. I won big on it yesterday and will win big today also, I think!

    WARNING=make your own research and bet. You(pico,tico,chico etc.) are responsible for your own bets!

    • Took Dimi +1.5 win or lose. He is the more stable player with more skills besides being the higher ranked player!

        • Ben, Dimi has more skills (better returning, serving power to match Nick’s, fantastic court movement & flexibility which nick or even 90% of ATP players can’t match, etc. etc.! Don’t want to bore you and others with Dimi’s skills superiority!lol), more composure and more of everything, Period!lol Proof? Watch his games very closely on slowmo and make notes…then you can see his real skills!

          There is a reason why they cal Dimi, BABY FED!

          ATP, feed BABY FED, more milk powder. Wat? Nope. Ha,ha,ha…more wins and Trophies!

          • Consider this though. If Kyrgios is pretty mentally unpredictable and lacks composure in comparison to Grigor, then why did more people pick Nick to win?

  9. I also want to add that Nick watched his buddy/rival Alex Zverev just win last week in Canada his SECOND ATP 1000. He’s trying not to get one upped here. A few “COME ON!” shots from Kyrgios today and I see him cleaning this up.

  10. Honestly I don’t really know who to root for in this match. Dimitrov used to be one of my favorite players when he was on the rise in 2013 and 2014 but when his form dropped it seemed to me like he cared way more about off court stuff like his relationship with Sharapova and was doing horrible with his tennis so I kind of stopped liking him as a player. Kyrgios has stayed one of my favorites because even when he turns in an atrocious performance/effort I know he can bring a great match against the top guys in the big events. This week and for many chunks of this year, both guys have seemed more focused (especially NK) and are back playing extremely well. Dimitrov just kind of fell off the map for a while and Kyrgios kind of almost did at times this season but mostly due to injury and personal conflicts. In the end, their games are beyond entertaining to watch. I would say they are two of my top five favorite players. Lost would probably go 1) Fed 2) Stan 3) Muller (but barely ahead of Nick) 4) Kyrgios 5) Dimitrov. But in this match Dimitrov is the guy who needs it more and is older so I feel compelled to root for Grigor for this reason. But I also don’t want to root against Nick plus I picked him to win the title here lol.

      • My issue with Kyrgios is that I feel he only plays well when he’s in the mood. Now I am not holding injuries against him. That’s beyond his control. But I just feel that he is not fully committed to this sport. I don’t know that he wants to give his best effort all the time. Only some of the time. With so much natural talent, I think he doesn’t feel he has to work that hard.

        I initially really disliked Kyrgios. But now I can tolerate him. I appreciate him when he is focused on playing great tennis and leaves the attitude and drama out of it.

        But I am thinking that I might like to see Dimi win this title. He’s been around longer and struggled with ups and downs. I actually have not liked him that much and thought that he was quite over rated. But he’s worked hard to get back into good form again and I think he really wants this.

        I will be okay with whoever wins, but maybe sentimentally I would prefer to see Dimi win.

      • Definitely I like Kyrgios better than Dimitrov. Kyrgios’ game is more exciting. But Dimitrov has grown into a more consistent player who is committed to the work ethic required. I still don’t know where Kyrgios’ mind is at – does he want to play tennis. I get a Gulbis feeling about him.

        I’ve never been a big fan of Dimitrov but when he was with Sharapova and the pop singer, he just seemed pathetic. But he’s made good decisions and is a serious professional. I’ll be happy for him to win this.

        Kyrgios is not playing with the energy he had vs Rafa or Ferrer. He’s far too nervous. I feel bad for him.

        • His backhand has been atrocious when usually his most solid shot. And the serve hasn’t been as good either. I think Ricky deserves an “I told you so!!” @ everyone on this page ?

          • Yes his weapons were not working properly – Nick probably was feeling it, the fatigue and pains of winning the battles with Rafa and Ferrer – plus he is in general just not as fit enough as he should be at this level to make it through a tough draw and win a title like this. Dimitrov came to prepared. Nice hug at the net 😀 Great, Great win for Grigor! Very proud of him.

            Congratulations Grigor Dimitrov – keep up the good work!


  12. That last forehand that Kyrgios hit long to get broken, it honestly looked like he purposefully hit it long! He barely even bent down for the shot, and he looked like he just didn’t give a shit at all. He definitely still has some serious attitude issues that he needs to deal with. It’s thoroughly disappointing. We’ve seen him compete hard before, so it’s just cringe-worthy when he reverts back to not trying…

    • Yeah he just went for broke and was mentally MIA on that shot. He really tried in that last game but Dimitrov was too good. Kyrgios put up a kind of poor performance though not gonna lie. I hope he still brings it in New York and same with Grigor. No offense to Zverev but I would put them above Zverev on the list of those likeliest to win there just because Zverev is still yet to do jack at the slams.

      • Agree somewhat Benny….mostly agree. Zverev hasn’t gone far enough in a GS for me to pick him. And Kyrgios, he needs to show me some endurance and commitment. Dimitrov is the best of the three at a GS, I think. I mean there’s a chance Sascha could surprise us, but not likely. I want to see him make a QF first!

    • Dimi was the better player today and deserved to win! Well done!

      Kyrgios still doesn’t seem all that invested in this sport. Not a great performance from him. I think Dimi just wanted it more.

  13. Dimmmmmmmmmm…..i wins!

    +1.5 wins Biiii….G.

    But over loses(5U) Sorry guys. Going to Blame Kyrgios for this loss, who couldn’t hold on to his serve which we all expected him to do? Serving is his only weapon and he can’t hold on to his serve! Trashy Kyrgios. One trick pony Kyrgios or rather 50% pony as couldn’t just hold on to serve which is his only weapon.

  14. Loved the runner-up speech from Nick!! He admitted not being as fit as Dimitrov. What a great personality! Come on, Nick, get the next one!

  15. I’m definitely very happy for Grigor. It’s great to see him get a big title after showing a lot of promise early in the season. As far as the US Open is concerned, I don’t think that the result of this tournament has taught us anything new… We already new Grigor was capable of beating all the players he beat, and we knew that Kyrgios was capable of beating Big 4 players only to not end up not winning the tournament. I think that if Kyrgios had been able to get the title, or at least make the final competitive, after having beaten the World #1, then that would have at least shown us that Kyrgios was capable of beating a Big 4 player en route to a title. However, it appears to be the same old story that he can be good enough on a given day at a big tournament, but not through the whole thing. There’s obviously still a mental factor there, but I think that his fitness can clearly be a roadblock for him. He’s too talented for me to say that he can’t win the US Open this year, but I certainly wouldn’t count on it at this point. There’s absolutely no way we can deny his talent and potential anymore- he’s ended that debate. But unless he can find the motivation to want to be great, I don’t see it happening as long as Big 4 guys are still around. Even if I can’t stand how he can be a mean-spirited and cocky asshole who has the tendency to displace his anger and fear of not being cool enough onto other people, I believe that somewhere inside of him there is a good person who is just painfully insecure, and who has the ability to really strive for greatness. He just needs to decide if he being a great tennis player is truly what he wants. If he doesn’t want to, that’s totally fine! But he’s only going to end up hurting the sport and those around him if he just stays content with never changing. Personally, I don’t need to see him win everything, I just desperately want to see him care, about anything besides the way people view him.

    • Great thoughts Kev. You’re so right about him. He seems just troubled and honestly made that mistake at the match with Wawrinka a few years ago and has since faced so much criticism ever since for any little thing he does. I mean that disgraceful Dimitrov meltdown at Istanbul a few years back isn’t even a thought anymore but Kyrgios made just too big of a mistake and had to follow up with a few others and I think it’s because he has a tough time handling the constant pressure and criticism of everyone around him. He is likely aware that everyone around him and who knows his talent expects him to be an elite player with an amazing career. I think he’s going to become more and more stable mentally as he matures over the next few years and win slams down the road. A win at the Open is possible but not probable. I honestly don’t see a clear favorite there besides Fed to be honest. That is as long as his back isn’t still bothering him too much.

      • Dimi is the favorite now at the USO – fit, healthy, right attitude, winning momentum, being to the SF of a slam before – I see him the big favorite, ahead of all others. A Zverev and Kyrgios have yet to prove they can go far at a slam; the other top players are either injured or back from injury. Rafa is suffering from fatigue. Fed has big issue…..

        Why is Fed the big fav when he has back issue?

          • Exactly. I don’t think it will be bothering him a lot still because Fed is typically very efficient in dealing with minor injuries like this and he has pretty smart scheduling and doesn’t need that much practice compared to most as it is. That can be seen from his immediate success upon return from the six month break from last season and the two month break from this season.

        • Because he has lost like three matches all year, hasn’t two slams this season, hasn’t lost to his main rival Nadal all year, has won 19 slams, and only had minor “aches and pains” in his back that will likely be healed or almost healed by the time he plays his first match in New York. So basically there are a lot of reasons. Also Dimitrov the favorite? I know he won Cincy, but he had to beat Isner and Kyrgios to win. Very impressive event for him but I don’t think anyone else is putting him as the big favorite. The guy has never been past the semis of a slam while he will be in a field with five players who have won at least one slam. I would favor all five of those guys (Cilic, Murray, Nadal, Federer, Del Po) over Dimitrov except Del Po. Maybe Murray and Cilic are still really injured and if so they will probably withdraw. But even if they come to the event and are slightly injured still, they have made multiple grand slam finals each and have tasted grand slam glory. Now I’m not saying a huge run from Dimitrov isn’t out of the question. A title isn’t even totally out of the question but highly unlikely in my opinion. But I also think a couple others are heavier favorites than he is.

            • Benny, from what I saw of Fed at Montreal, he wasn’t convincingly good even before his back issue; I won’t be surprised he’ll be beaten by a young gun at the USO. He’s not as fresh as at the beginning of the year, I doubt he can play as well too.

  16. I didnt make a prediction , but I did feel Dimitrov would be the more reliable player , mentally at least, in this big final .Nick is a great shotmaker , amazing server and the bigger hitter but Dimitrov is older , more experienced and I almost forgot how great a defender and athlete he is.
    I do hope Nick can keep this new found motivation up , and both of them go far in the US Open.

  17. Agree with Kev and Benny. I’m beginning to warm to NK, he’s quite a complex character and more sensitive than t=his behaviour woujld suggest .He’s far too good a player to waste his talent because he cant be bothered.

  18. I have to agree with Benny. IF Fed’s back is not giving him problems, I just don’t see any argument that could be realistically made for anyone else being a favorite over him. I’m not saying he would be the overwhelming favorite by any means. But if he is fresh and healthy, who would you pick to upset him in BO5, aside from maybe a resurgent Rafa? Sure, he played poorly in montreal, but he’s always struggled there with the conditions. He has never struggled with conditions in NYC. Plus, the newly designed Arthur Ashe stadium is no longer windy/blustery like it used to be. Sure, Zverev or Kyrgios could cause an upset, but I certainly wouldn’t bet on it in BO5 if Fed is healthy. If he is healthy, the only person I realistically see being able to beat him in New York would be if Rafa managed to suddenly start playing lights out on HC and Fed’s level dropped. But that’s really it. And Rafa hasn’t given me much reason to believe in his chances in New York, so what am I supposed to think? Like I said before, even if Fed is healthy, it’s obviously possible for a Kyrgios or Zverev to take out Fed, but I wouldn’t be willing to bet any money on it…

    However, if his back is still giving him problems, then that is obviously a completely different story! If in his first couple matches it’s obvious that he can’t quite give it his all because his back is bothering him, then I would most likely change my mind about his chances. So I guess that until we know the condition of his back, then technically he shouldn’t be considered the favorite yet.

  19. That’s easily the best I’ve seen Dimitrov play. His fitness and retrieving was incredible, and the FH was dominating. Kyrgios did not play badly, but was just outclassed. Grigor was just refusing to miss, and he totally dominated from the baseline. If he can bring this level consistently for USO he has to be one of the top 2-3 favourites after Fed (assuming Roger is healthy). ATM, I’d put those favourites as follows: Federer, Zverev, Dimitrov, Kyrgios; then Ferrer, Thiem, Nadal.

    Murray and Cilic are (I think) too injured to go far, as are rest of top 10 that remain. Isner could make a run, but generally has a harder time in BO5. I don’t see any other player realistically having a chance to win the tournament.

    • Hope? I only hope for Rafa to win, don’t care about Fed. If Rafa couldn’t win, then I wish Dimi does. There’s no other ones in my list.

      • Well, if Dimitrov plays like he did today, he has a very good chance to win USO, imo. Wow he was good. Rafa, I don’t think one can be as optimistic, based on his play so far this HC season.

        Regarding Federer, I agree that he didn’t look very good in Montreal, maybe except against Haase. But he still managed to get to the final, beating a very good Ferrer when playing maybe less than 75% of what he can. If his back is really hurting, then of course his chances of winning aren’t great, if only because he is likely to re-injure it playing all those BO5 matches. But if he’s basically as healthy as he was at the end of Wimbledon, then I don’t see how he’s not still the USO favourite.

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