Alcaraz and Norrie advance to Rio Open final, eye rematch
RIO DE JANEIRO. Carlos Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie won the semi-finals on Saturday and reached the final for the second consecutive time at the Rio Open.
If the Spaniard wins, he will not only defend his title in Brazil, but also equal Novak Djokovic on points at the top of the rankings – the Serb will still be No. 1 due to other results.
Alcaraz worked hard to beat Nicolas Jarry 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday. A few hours earlier, Cameron Norrie had beaten Bernabé Zapata Miralles 6–2, 3–6, 7–6 (3).
The tournament’s top clay court players also clashed last weekend in the final of the Argentine Open, which Alcaraz won in straight sets.
Alcaraz only lost his second set in the Rio Open against Jarry.
The 19-year-old Spaniard had trouble hitting the Chilean in the first two sets, but showed more energy in the third.
Alcaraz defeated Jarry in a dominant game final set.
“Nico has tremendous power, an incredible serve, and he has shots that can make life difficult for any player,” Alcaraz said of Jarri after the match, where his Chilean opponent scored almost 90% of the points after his first service until the end of the second set.
“I’m not going to do anything else (starting with the final in Buenos Aires against Norrie). I think so, and tomorrow I will discuss it with my team.”
Norrie will play his third final of the year. It took him 2.5 hours to defeat Zapata Miralles. In the deciding set, Norrie saved a break point in the fifth game, defeated the Spaniard in the sixth, but was forced to play in a tie-break. His stronger first pitch made the difference.
“I tried to score points too early. I was a little self-confident,” Norrie said.
Asked what he needs to do differently than in the finals in Buenos Aires and Auckland, in which he lost to Alcaraz and Richard Gasque, Norrie replied: “I have to play better in important moments.”
Norrie currently leads the tour in wins in 2023 with 17 wins and three losses.
Alcaraz and Norrie reach Rio Open final, rematch originally appeared on NBCSports.com