A week after losing the title clash to Carlos Alcaraz in Buenos Aires, Cameron Norrie served revenge in Rio. The Briton toppled an injured Spaniard 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes for his fifth ATP title and the first at the ATP 500 level.
Alcaraz led 7-5, 3-0 but failed to bring the victory home and lift the eighth ATP title. The Spaniard struggled with a left leg injury and played all-or-nothing shots since the second set’s closing stages, preserving energy and reducing his movement.
A teenager was far from his best physically and still endured all the efforts to remain in touch in the decider. However, Norrie broke him in the 11th game and sealed the deal on his serve in the next one to emerge at the top and celebrate the title and his 17th victory in 2023.
Alcaraz fired 40 winners and 52 unforced errors, unable to tame his strokes more efficiently. Norrie fired 26 unreturned serves and tamed his strokes nicely to hit the same number of winners and unforced errors and emerge at the top.
Cameron Norrie overpowered Carlos Alcaraz in Rio de Janeiro.
The Briton defended four out of nine break points and stole the rival’s serve six times from 16 opportunities. Both players settled into a fine rhythm behind the initial shot, reaching 2-2.
Norrie missed a break point in game five with a loose forehand and faced troubles at 3-4. A left-hander denied three break points with valiant hitting and brought the game home for 4-4. Alcaraz earned a set point at 5-4 with a touchy drop shot, and Norrie denied it with a forehand attack.
Carlos pushed strong on the return for the third straight game at 6-5 and earned a set point with a drop shot winner. The young Spaniard painted a backhand down the line return winner to wrap up the opener 7-5 in just under an hour.
Carlos saved break points at the start of the second set, broke for the second time in a row in game two and held at love for 3-0. Cameron trailed 30-0 in the fourth game and faced the exit door. The Briton clinched the game and broke back in game five after the rival’s forehand error.
Struggling with an injury, Alcaraz opted for a serve & volley in game seven and got broken for the second time in a row to fall 4-3 behind. The Spaniard kept fighting and pulled the break back in game eight after the Briton’s wayward forehand.
Cameron stayed calm and delivered his third break in a row in game nine to open a 5-4 gap and serve for the set. He held at love with an ace down the T line in game ten to wrap up the set and force a decider. Carlos made another push at the start of the decider and broke in game two for a 2-0 advantage.
However, he netted a forehand in the next one to experience a break and keep the opponent on the positive side. Norrie broke again in game five to move in front before losing his serve in the next one to keep the young gun at 3-3.
Barely moving, Carlos denied two break points in game nine and brought the game home for a massive hold and a 5-4 advantage. He came back from 40-0 down in game 11 before Norrie grabbed the fourth break point after Alcaraz’s terrible backhand.
The Briton served for the victory at 6-5 and fired an ace on his second match point to celebrate the title.
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