Dimitrov staves off Anderson challenge for Acapulco crown
Bulgaria`s Grigor Dimitrov edged out South Africa`s Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in a three-hour slugfest to claim his second career title with victory in the Acapulco International final on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who won the Stockholm Open in October for his first title victory, claimed the first-set in a tiebreak but Anderson broke in the second game of the next and comfortably held serve to level the match at a set apiece.
Anderson carried the momentum into the third with another early break but handed back the initiative with a double fault on break point in the eighth game of the deciding set.
Dimitrov, who beat Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in the semi-finals, held on to take the decider into a tiebreak and completed the victory on his first match point to improve his head-to-head record against the South African to 4-1.
It was a second heartbreaking loss in as many weeks for Anderson, who also lost to Marin Cilic in the Delray Beach Open final last Sunday.
"Right now it`s really disappointing... to come so close. It was possibly a match where I felt I was going to get it," Anderson told reporters. "I`m going to have to move on, need to take positives and take belief.
"I know it`s difficult but it`s not an easy sport. You have got two options - either to get down or get even more motivated."
In the women`s tournament played at the same venue, top seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova battled past American Christina McHale 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 to win her fourth career title.
The victory will move Cibulkova a place higher to number 11 from her previous career-high world ranking when the new standings are released on Monday.