Home » Bob Greene, Featured, HEADLINES AND FEATURES, Lead, Top Stories » Grigor Dimitrov Stops Nick Kyrgios To Win First Masters 1000 Title – Mondays with Bob Greene




Mondays with Bob Greene

 

STARS

Grigor Dimitrov beat Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-5 to win the Western & Southern Open men’s singles in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Garbiñe Muguruza beat Simona Halep 6-1 6-0 to win the Western & Southern Open women’s singles in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Victor Estrella Burgos beat Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (4) 6-4 to win the Milex Open At La Bocha in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Maryna Zanevska beat Danka Kovinic 5-7 6-1 6-3 to win the Odlum Brown Vanopen women’s singles in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Cedrik-Marcel Stebe beat Jordan Thompson 6-0 6-1 to win the Odlum Brown Vanopen men’s singles in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

SAYING

“I’m just happy. There’s nothing else I can say, honestly. I’m just happy and I’m humbled to have that trophy in my hands, and especially to win here, my first Masters 1000. It’s just amazing.” – Grigor Dimitrov, after winning his first Masters 1000 title at Cincinnati.

“The tough matches never go my way, so I want to change that. I want to find the recipe this year.” – Garbiñe Muguruza, after beating Simona Halep to win the Western & Southern women’s singles

“Maybe I feel the pressure and I don’t realize it.” – Simona Halep, who lost for the third time this season when with a victory she could have taken over the world number one ranking.

“He obviously is a tough match always. Nick is a great player, but I played poorly.” – Rafael Nadal, following his loss in Cincinnati to Nick Kyrgios.

“I’m not a machine. I’m tired. There was no hiding it. There’s a physical limit to all of us and I’ve reached that now. This match is already forgotten. But it’s something that’s normal. It happens to all of us.” – Alexander Zverev, after being upset by Francis Tiafoe in Cincinnati.

“We’re going to be playing a lot over the next 10 or 15 years. I didn’t want to start out 0-3 against him.” – Frances Tiafoe, after beating Alexander Zverev for the first time in three ATP World Tour meetings.

“I am having a great season.” – Rafael Nadal, after learning he will return to the top of the men’s rankings.

“It’s a tough loss.” – Angelique Kerber, who lost her chance to regain the world number one ranking when she was beaten 6-4 1-6 7-6 (11) by Ekaterina Makarova in Cincinnati.

“If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power.” – Serena Williams, saying she plans on defending her Australian Open title just three months after giving birth to her first child.

“Not the place I wanted to be, but 2nd surgery went well. That means I can start my preparation … 2018 see you soon.” – Stan Wawrinka, reporting his plans on Twitter.

“I like the big matches. I believe I play well there. I’m happy to be there, happy to be in that situation. When I was a little girl I was dreaming to be there. That’s where I want to play.” – Garbiñe Muguruza.

“My dream was always to play professional tennis at places like the US Open with the best in the world. I have been lucky enough to live my dream for the last nine years since I turned pro in 2008.” – Melanie Oudin, announcing she is retiring from tennis.

“There are other things that are more important to me than tennis. It’s just a game. There’s worse things happening in the world right now than me losing. That’s part of the reason I can’t take it so seriously. I’ve had family members that have passed away and I didn’t get to see them enough because of tennis and I guess that could be a reason why I can’t really give myself fully to the game as well.” – Nick Kyrgios.

“(Maria) Sharapova has volunteered to speak to young tennis players at the USTA national campus about the importance of the tennis anti-doping program and the personal responsibility each player has to comply with the program’s requirements.” – The United States Tennis Association (USTA), in a statement announcing it has given Maria Sharapova a wild-card entry into the US Open’s women’s main draw singles.

 

STRAIGHT SETS

Grigor Dimitrov reeled off the biggest win of his career by beating Nick Kyrgios in straight sets to capture the Western & Southern Open. The Bulgarian needed only one service break in each set as he beat back both break points he faced. Kyrgios blasted 15 aces, nine more than Dimitrov, but the winner was much steadier off the ground in their baseline battles. “It came down to a few points I could have done better than him, and I was just able to hold my nerve,” Dimitrov said. It was his seventh career victory, but first in a Masters 1000 series event. The Bulgarian didn’t drop a set all tournament and won 52 of 53 service games. “I always like this tournament,” Dimitrov said. “I have played it quite a few times and always thought this can be maybe one of the first ones, and it is the first one.” Neither player has reached a Masters 1000 title match before their Cincinnati battle, but Dimitrov, although admitting he was quite nervous, appeared to be the calmer and more focused of the two throughout the match. It was the first time since Paris 2012 – 42 consecutive Masters 1000s – that no member of the Big Four of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had reached the semifinals of a Masters 1000 event.

 

SPRINT TO TITLE

Garbiñe Muguruza’s quick and easy victory at the Western & Southern Open provided two results: it made the Spaniard one of the strong favorites for the upcoming US Open while at the same time stopped Simona Halep’s latest chance to become number one in the world. Muguruza immediately tried to get out of the US Open spotlight. “Nobody believes because they won the last tournament they are going to go there and win,” said the reigning Wimbledon champion who also won the French Open a year ago. Muguruza needed only 56 minutes to win her second title of the year. And it marked the third time this year that Halep has lost while playing for the top ranking. “I feel a little bit bad,” Muguruza said. “I want to be in her position. But I wanted to win. What can I do.” What Muguruza did was completely dominate, rushing through the first set in 23 minutes and wrapping up the win in 56 minutes. The victory moves Muguruza to third in the world in the rankings behind Karolina Pliskova and Halep.

 

SICK BAY

Three years after reaching the US Open final, Kei Nishikori won’t even be in the field for the year’s final Grand Slam tournament. Nishikori, who was a semifinalist at Flushing Meadows last year, will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn tendon in his right wrist. Nishikori’s agent, Olivier van Lindonk, said the Japanese star heard a “pop” in his wrist while hitting a serve during a practice session at the Western & Southern Open. Nishikori withdrew from that hardcourt event and saw two specialists before deciding to end his season.

Two-time US Open champion Novak Djokovic and defending US Open winner Stan Wawrinka will also miss this year’s edition because of injuries.

A hand injury is the reason Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky is missing this year’s US Open. She also pulled out of this week’s Connecticut Open. “I cannot express how I am to announce such bad news, but my priority … is to let my body heal completely and take all the time needed in order to do so,” said Bacsinszky, who was a semifinalist at the French Open earlier this years.

Samantha Stosur, who won the US Open in 2011, has withdrawn from this year’s tournament with an injured right hand. The 33-year-old Australian has not competed since losing her fourth-round match at the French Open in June. At the time, Stosur said her right hand was sore, which made it difficult to hit forehands or serves. Stosur also was runner-up at the French Open in 2010.

 

SICK CALL

Milos Raonic also pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters. “My wrist injury has not healed,” the Canadian said in a statement. The Canadian said his wrist was hurting when he lost to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in straight set the week before at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Raonic is ranked 10th in the world.

Gael Monfils withdrew from the Cincinnati tournament citing an illness. He was to play in his third straight event after being beaten by Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri in Washington, DC, then losing in the third round at Montreal after upsetting Kei Nishikori.

 

SHARAPOVA TO PLAY

After a 15-month doping ban and injuries that have sidelined her this summer, Maria Sharapova is set to play in the US Open, her first Grand Slam tournament since the Australian Open in 2016. The Russian tested positive for meldonium at that Australian Open and was suspended for 15 months, a ban that ended in April. “Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wild-card selection process,” the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said in a statement. “Consistent with past practice, a wild-card was provided to a past US champion who needed the wild-card for entry into the main draw.” Sharapova won the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008, Wimbledon in 2014 and the French Open in 2012 and 2014. The USTA in its statement noted that other former champions to receive US Open main draw wild-cards include Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro.

 

SHOCKER

American teenager Frances Tiafoe did something Roger Federer wasn’t able to do this summer. Tiafoe beat seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev, snapping the German’s 10-match winning streak that included winning the Rogers Cup in Montreal last week. “These are wins that definitely can change your career the right way,” Tiafoe said after his 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory. Until he took on the 19-year-old American, Zverev had won 28 of his last 29 best-of-three-set matches when winning the first set. This time, however, it was Tiafoe who won just his fifth ATP World Tour-level match of 2017. “We grew up together playing junior Grand Slams, playing Under-12s, Under-14s. I have known him for forever,” Tiafoe said of Zverev, who is 20. “Seeing him rise like that, I was, like, ‘Maybe I can do the same.’ Then he beat me twice, and I was, like, ‘All right, maybe I can’t.’ So me beating him today made me feel pretty good.” Zverev has won five ATP World Tour titles this year and is now 47-14 on the season.

 

SIGHTS ON 24

Saying she feels “new power” from her pregnancy, Serena Williams is already planning on defending her Australian Open title in January. Her first baby is due in September. “It’s the most outrageous plan,” Williams said of her plan to return so quickly to the women’s tour. “I just want to put that out there. That’s like, three months after I give birth. I’m not walking anything buck, but I’m just saying it’s pretty intense.” Williams, who will turn 36 in September, is seeking to win her 24th Grand Slam singles title, which would tie her with Australia’s Margaret Court. Williams was pregnant when she won the Australian Open this past January, her 23rd major singles crown. “Obviously if I have a chance to go out there and catch up with Margaret, I am not going to pass that up,” Williams said in an interview with Vogue magazine. “If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power.”

 

SAYONARA

Melanie Oudin is calling it quits at the age of 25. The American began her career on top when she reached the quarterfinals of the US Open in 2009 at the age of 17 when she beat, among others, Maria Sharapova, then a three-time Grand Slam tournament champion. But her career has been hindered by injury and illness since then, including an abnormal heart rhythm that was long misdiagnosed as panic attacks, and rhabdomyolysis, a muscle condition that causes weakness, fatigue and soreness. “Unfortunately, since the end of 2012 I have been struck with numerous health issues and injuries,” she said. “I would work so hard to come back after being out, and then something else would happen.” She won her lone title at Birmingham, Great Britain in 2012. In 2011, she won the US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Jack Sock. She reached a career-high 31 in the world in 2010.

STOP AT TOP

Despite losing in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati, Rafael Nadal returned to the top of the world rankings for the first time in three years. The Spaniard actually was guaranteed the number one spot when Roger Federer withdrew from the hard-court tournament with a back injury. “For me personally obviously to be back to that position is something special,” Nadal said. “A lot of things have happened since the last time I was in this spot. Injuries and some tough moments of course, but I have held the passion and the love for the game.” Nadal has won four titles this year, including a record 10th French Open, and reached three other finals, including the Australian Open.

SIGNED

Rafael Nadal will open his 18th season as a professional at the Brisbane International in January. “last year for me was the first experience and was very successful,” the 31-year-old left-hander said of the Australian tournament. “The atmosphere is great and there’s a lot of nice people supporting the event.” The Brisbane International runs from New Year’s Eve to January 7.

 

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Cincinnati (men): Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 7-6 (6) 6-4

Cincinnati (women): Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis beat Hsieh Su-Wei and Monica Niculescu 4-6 6-4 10-7 (match tiebreak)

Santo Domingo: Juan Ignacio Londero and Luis David Martinez beat Daniel Elahi Galan and Santiago Giraldo 6-4 6-4

Vancouver (men): James Cerretani and Neal Skupski beat Treat Huey and Robert Lindstedt 7-6 (6) 6-2

Vancouver (women): Jessica Moore and Jocelyn Rae beat Desirae Krawczyk and Giuliana Olmos 6-1 7-5

 

SURFING

Winston-Salem: www.winstonsalemopen.com/

New Haven: www.ctopen.org/

New York: www.usopen.org/

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

 

MEN

$748,960 Winston-Salem Open, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA, hard

 

WOMEN

$731,000 Connecticut Open, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, hard

 

MEN and WOMEN

US Open, New York, New York, USA, hard, first week

 

Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov



World Tennis Magazine on iTunes


About Admin
Randy Walker is a communications and marketing specialist, writer, tennis historian and the managing partner of New Chapter Media – www.NewChapterMedia.com. He was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s marketing and communications division where he worked as the press officer for 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties, three Olympic tennis teams and was an integral part of USTA media services team for 14 US Opens. He is the author of the books ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and THE DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!