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Kyrgios upbeat despite defeat in Cincinnati Masters final

Tennis

After two months of injuries and poor form, Nick Kyrgios will contest the US Open on the back of a near career-best week.

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The Australian lost the Cincinnati Masters final to Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets this morning, Australian time, but claimed the scalp of world No.1 Rafael Nadal in reaching the decider.

It’s hard to believe just over two weeks ago Kyrgios was forced to retire hurt down 6-3 3-0 to world No.105 Tennys Sandgren due to a shoulder injury in Washington DC.

Kyrgios went down to seventh seed Dimitrov 6-3 7-5, unable to maintain the form which saw him beat Nadal in the quarter-finals.

But he heads to Flushing Meadows after wins over former world No.3 David Ferrer in the final four and world No.13 David Goffin, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Ivo Karlovic in the early rounds.

“Looking back from where I was… I would have never thought I would have had my first Masters 1000 event final,” Kyrgios told reporters.

“So I’m pretty happy with the result. From where I was to here, it’s just been amazing.

“First round was really a struggle and obviously got through a tough one with Dolgopolov. Gradually, I just feel back to where I should feel on a tennis court.

“I wasn’t enjoying it at all, didn’t want to be out there. External things were affecting how I was feeling. It really didn’t make sense.

“Right now, I lost today but I feel great. I feel great where I’m at right now.”

Kyrgios was no match for Dimitrov, who did not lose a set on the way to winning his first ATP Masters tournament.

The 22-year-old Kyrgios, ranked 23 in the world, capitulated with three double faults in the second set at 5-5 to hand Bulgarian Dimitrov a decisive break.

Kyrgios had the first break point of the match at 2-2 in the first set, but sent a forehand wide to blow the chance.

Dimitrov, however, took full advantage of his one break opportunity when Kyrgios netted a forehand to take a 4-2 lead.

Kyrgios showed his frustration by remonstrating with the chair umpire during the second set over line umpiring.

He hit 15 aces to six but was weaker on serve throughout, winning only 36 per cent of points on his second-serve in the second-set.

After a rain delay caused him to complete two matches in a day, he did not have the fitness to go with Dimitrov.

“I was struggling a couple of weeks ago and he got me out on the practice court. We practised for an hour-and-a-half and I was struggling and he was fresh,” Kyrgios said.

“You had me mentally today already. I was like, ‘I know this guy’s fitter than me’.”

Kyrgios has not won a tournament this year, suffering four first-round exits since May – three of them due to injury retirements.

The US Open will begin on August 28 in New York.

-AAP

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