Unfortunately, a win was not in the cards for Nick Kyrgios in the Western and Southern, or the Cincinnati Masters, if your prefer, as Kyrgios was not able to summon the same game he used to defeat world number one Rafael Nadal on his way into the final.
Kyrgios lost 3 – 6, 7 – 5 to Grigor Dimitrov and lost his opportunity to become the first Australian to win a Masters title since Lleyton Hewitt fourteen years ago.
The match was unique in the fact that it marked the first time in 15 years that two first-time Masters finalists met for a Masters victory. It was the highest level either player has ever achieved by two such young players.
Dimitrov is leading the ATP Tour with 24 hardcourt match victories this year, so even though he flies under the radar of all but the more astute tennis fans, he was ranked 11th in the world and will move up into the top 10 as a result of his win.
Kyrgios kept himself in check for the most part, but he suffered a collapse with the second set tied five all when he double faulted three times to hand Dimitrov a critical service break. He let the line umpires get into his head at points in the second set.
Still, Kyrgios will benefit from the experience. He will move up in the rankings from 23rd to 18th and he can take away some positive experiences from the season. After getting some help with his mental demons at the end of 2016 and 2017, he collected some big scalps, beating Novak Djokovic twice and Rafael Nadal once, so if he harboured any doubts that he was not quite at the elite level, he hopefully will be able to banish those thoughts going forward.
At some point, he is going to need to take some time away to let his various injuries heal. Losing to Dimitrov was no disgrace, as the Bulgarian did not drop a set during the entire tournament.