Alcaraz and Norrie into Rio semis, eye 2nd final in 2 weeks Andy Murray saves 5 match points to reach Doha final Swiatek defeats Gauff again, advances to Dubai final

RIO DE JANEIRO. The Rio Open final will feature a rematch between Carlos Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie.

Both advanced to the clay court semi-finals on Friday and could repeat last weekend’s decider in Argentina, which the Spaniard won.

Reigning Rio Open champion Alcaraz beat Dusan Lajovic 6:4, 7:6 (0). He will face Nicolás Jarry, who beat Sebastian Baez 6-3, 7-6 (3).

The Chilean was banned for doping for 11 months in 2020 and has been trying to move up the rankings since February last year. His best ranking was #38, but today he is #139.

Once again, the 19-year-old Alcaraz didn’t play his best tennis in Brazil as he did in his first two matches, but still prevailed. Unforced errors, difficulties with the first serve and less than usual energy were visible throughout the Spaniard’s match with Lajovic.

Alcaraz, who won last year’s US Open in his first major tournament, is playing his second tournament after suffering a right foot injury that sidelined him for four months.

Alcaraz and Jarry never played each other on tour.

“I feel like I’m physically at a great level, playing hard, demanding matches day after day,” Alcaraz said. “Last year I was at a great level, winning other tournaments here in Miami. Obviously, I can still improve what I’m doing now.”

Runner-up Norrie beat Bolivian player Hugo Dellien 4–6, 6–1, 6–4. The Brit’s next opponent will be Bernabé Zapata Miralles, who beat Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos-Vignolas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

“I had a very slow start, didn’t make many returns, which is quite unlike me,” Norrie said. “I was lucky to be patient.”

DOHA, Qatar – Andy Murray saved five match points to beat Jiri Lehekka 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (6) to reach the final of the Qatar Open on Friday.

Murray, 35, has reached his first ATP Tour final since June and will face former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev.

“He is a legend,” Medvedev said of Murray. “Today was just unbelievable how he won.”

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion who had two hip surgeries, struggled with a 5-3 deficit in the deciding set. He saved two match points on his serve and three more when his opponent from the Czech Republic served for the match.

“It was one of the most amazing turns of my career,” the Scot said in an on-court interview. “To be honest, I have no idea how I managed to turn it around.”

Medvedev beat runner-up Felix Auger-Aliassime for the second time in two weeks, this time 6-4, 7-6 (7). Last week, Medvedev also won consecutive quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

“Confidence matters because (Auger-Aliassime) had (three) setpoints,” Medvedev said. “I managed to just stay there and that was enough to win.”

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates. Ranked No. 1 Iga Sviatek went undefeated against Coco Gauff, beating the American teenager 6-4, 6-2 to reach the final at the Dubai Championship on Friday.

The three-time Grand Slam champion improved to 6-0 against the 18-year-old Gauff, and each win was in straight sets. The Pole beat Gauff in last year’s French Open final.

Barbora Krejcikova, 2021 French Open champion, will face No. 3 Jessica Pegula of the United States in the other semi-final.

Last week, Swiatek beat Pegula to retain the Qatar Open title.


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