Grigor Dimitrov's long wait for an ATP 1000 Masters final appearance is over after he recorded a hard-earned straight-sets victory over John Isner at the Western and Southern Open.
Dimitrov had lost all three of his previous semi-final appearances at Masters' events, but got over any sign of nerves to pick up a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (12-10) win - and his first over Isner.
The Bulgarian had to save the only break points of the first set - which he did with ease - and in the inevitable tie-break it was the seventh seed who gleaned the sole opening.
It was almost an exact replica in the second set as the competitive clash kept the fans enthralled, Isner not afraid to go for his shots to try and stay in the clash.
Dimitrov did not have it all his own way, though, as he spurned three match points - the first in the 10th game of the second set.
Isner saved that break chance and did the same with another two, but he was wasteful when presented with three opportunities to take the match into a deciding set.
Eventually Dimitrov found himself 11-10 ahead and a third mini-break secured his progression to a third final of 2017.