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W&S Open Final Day; Triumphant Dimitrov wins first major, Halep fails again

Grigor Dimitrov secured his place in Western & Southern Open history Sunday afternoon by winning his maiden singles title in Mason.

It was the biggest championship of his young career. By defeating World No. 23 Nick Kyrgios in a 6-3, 7-5 championship, 11th-ranked Dimitrov earned his first Masters 1000 tournament title.

“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,” Dimitrov said.

“I always like this tournament. 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, so…I will listen to my gut feeling a bit more.”

Seventh-seeded Dimitrov denied his opponent’s bid to be the lowest-ranked W&S Open champ since 1975 (No. 49 Tom Gorman). In all, Dimitrov amassed wins over Feliciano Lopez, Juan Martin del Potro, Yuichi Sugita, John Isner and Kyrgios, and he did not drop a set all week.

The 26-year-old’s reward included the Rookwood Cup, $954,225 in prize winnings and 1,000 ranking points. Unseeded Kyrgios, 22, claimed $467,880 and 600 ranking points.

“Looking back from where I was a couple weeks ago, I would have never thought I would have had my first 1000 event final,” Kyrgios said.

Muguruza with her Cincinnati Masters trophy

In the women’s final Simona Halep for the third time this year failed to do the needful to become the most ranked female tennis player in the world.

Garbine Muguruza was crowned the Western & Southern Open’s new women’s singles champion Sunday after routing Simona Halep 6-1, 6-0 in the title match at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

The fourth-seeded Spaniard dropped her racquet, smiled and waved to fans after wrapping up the victory in just 56 minutes.

It was a significant achievement for the two-time Grand Slam champion. Not only was the W&S Open Muguruza’s first tournament on American soil, but she collected a $522,450 purse and 900 WTA ranking points.

“I think today was my best performance of the tournament, because I felt like I played 20 hours (on Center Court), you know. I had very long matches,” Muguruza said. “I think I did few little mistakes and my shots were very, you know, placed, and I think I was doing almost everything right there.”

She also denied Halep a career-first spot at No. 1 in the WTA rankings. Halep, seeded second, could have wrested the top spot from Karolina Pliskova with a victory.

But, for the third time in her career, Halep fell short; she had No. 1 near misses at the French Open and Wimbledon as well. The Romanian instead departed with $260,970 and 585 ranking points, finishing as a W&S Open runner-up for the second time since 2015.

“It’s tough to analyze anymore about this thing. Maybe I feel the pressure and I don’t realize it. Maybe I just played bad. I don’t know what to say. But…I still have a chance. So I will work for it, and maybe one day it will be there,” Halep said.

World No. 2 Halep had not dropped a set all tournament before surrendering two straight to Muguruza. She spent less time on the court this week – two hours and 20 minutes, to be exact – but World No. 6 Muguruza appeared fresher and sharper in the championship.

Not forgetting the men’s doubles event, where we saw fifth-seeded Pierre Hugues-Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated third-seeded Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 7-6 (6), 6-4 to claim the men’s doubles championship. The duo won their third Masters 1000 title of the year, and second straight including Montreal, while improving to 6-1 all-time in Masters 1000 finals.

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