Tennis

Alcaraz to face Norrie again for ATP Rio title

On Saturday, top-seeded defending champion Carlos Alcaraz fended off Nicholas Harri 6-7 (2/7), 7-5, 6-0 to advance to the final of the ATP Rio Open.

Alcaraz set up a title rematch with British runner-up Cameron Norrie, who beat Bernabé Zapata Miralles 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3).

This will be the second meeting between Alcaraz and Norrie in as many tournaments since the Spaniard’s victory in the final in Buenos Aires last Sunday.

“It’s going to be a very tough match, Cameron is at a great level, he’s shown that in previous matches,” Alcaraz said in an on-court TV interview.

Alcaraz’s triumph in Argentina sealed his comeback after a four-month hiatus due to injury. At the end of 2022, the 19-year-old pulled out with a torn abs and pulled out of the Australian Open in January after injuring his leg in practice.

His fitness has been put to the test against Jarry, the former world number 38 now ranked 139 as he attempts to move up after serving an 11-month doping ban in 2020.

The Chilean broke Alcaraz in the second game of the competition when his punishing ground kicks gave him a 5-3 lead.

Alcaraz, whose triumph at the US Open last September saw him become the world’s youngest number one, found his amazing shot to win 12 straight, beating Jarry as he tied the game 5-5.

But Jarry dominated the tiebreak, taking a 5-1 lead and ending it with a winning serve.

The second set was another intense fight. Alcaraz kept four break points in the first leg and they kept pitching from there until Alcaraz, who had a coach on his last two substitutions, made Jarry love to hit a set.

The third was the entire Alcaraz. He won his first break, taking a 2–0 lead with an impressive running winner on the right, and ended it with his third break of the set after two hours and 43 minutes.

Norrie will play his third final of the year and will be aiming for his first title after finishing second in Auckland and Buenos Aires.

After splitting two lopsided sets, he and Zapata Miralles traded breaks in the middle of a tense third.

Norrie recaptured a break point at 5-5 as they moved on to a tie-break in which he seized the lead with a winning drop and never fell behind.

“He felt good and I was a little impatient,” Norrie said of his struggles in the second set. “I tried to score points too early. I was overconfident.”

After two and a half hours in his eighth match in 11 days, Norrie was pleased to hold out physically.

“I just found a way, it was really hard,” he said. “He fought hard.”

raa/bb/rcw



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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