Nick Kyrgios defeated Spain’s David Ferrer 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) at the ATP Cincinnati Masters to book a Sunday finals date with 11th-ranked Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in a matchup of Masters finals debutantes.
On a television camera lens, Kyrgios wrote “74 + 89 R.I.P.” in tribute to grandmother Julianah Foster, who died in 2014 at 74, and grandfather Christos Kyrgios, who died in April.
“He never missed a match. That was one thing,” Kyrgios said. “And my grandma that passed away, she was pretty much my mum for the most part of my life. I have been pretty crazy ever since she left. They were unbelievable support. It was tough. I can’t really talk about it too much.”
Meanwhile, after losing to Kyrgios, Ferrer said the Aussie could someday be number one.
“Nick is young guy. He’s a nice guy. He’s improving every year and he’s the future,” Ferrer said. “He will have a lot of chances to be number one in the world and to win Grand Slams, but depends of his mentality.”
Finding the motivation for number one to matter might be Kyrgios’ toughest task.
“It’s just hard for me to take the game seriously at times. If I’m number one or number 500, I’m just a tennis player,” Kyrgios said. “I don’t really want to be remembered as an unbelievable tennis player. I would rather be remembered as someone who was kind to people and stuff like that.”
At Washington, Kyrgios was at a low point. “I wasn’t feeling confident,” he said. “I wasn’t tanking, but I was mentally not there. I was going through a lot of stuff. (Now) I’m in the final of a Masters event. I wouldn’t have (predicted) that, no way.”