British No 1 Cam Norrie secures Rio Open title as he comes back to beat Carlos Alcaraz 5-7 6-4 7-5 in dramatic encounter
- Cam Norrie wins Rio Open title as he defeats Carlos Alcaraz 5-7 6-4 7-5
- Alcaraz suffered thigh problems in the final set and looked tired
- Norrie held his nerve to close out the game and win his second major trophy
Cam Norrie ruined Carlos Alcaraz’s carnival when he returned on Sunday night to upset the Spanish teenage prodigy and win the Rio Open title in dramatic fashion.
Facing an opponent who had been treated for thigh problems, the British No 1 won the second biggest trophy of his career when he came through a highly topsy-turvy encounter 5-7 6-4 7-5.
For the final set of a two-hour-and-40-minute match played on Brazilian soil, Alcaraz was trying to hit the winner almost all the time as he battled thigh problems and worked around the court.
A flurry of winner attempts and dropshots from the other end seemed to have messed with Norrie’s head, but he held his nerve in the end to close it out and claim the ATP 500 event in his third final of the season. “I had missed a few finals this year but I turned it around on a surface I’m not so comfortable with, I had to fight some demons,” he said.
The pair faced each other for the second time in a row on Sunday, seven days after Alcaraz defeated him in the final of the Argentina Open.
British No 1 Cam Norrie celebrates after beating Carlos Alcaraz to win the Rio Open
Norrie dropped the first set against Alcaraz but secured a 5-7 6-4 7-5 win
From the start it looked like it would be closer, and Norrie had several chances before being broken at 5-5. A sudden shift in momentum saw the Spaniard take the next five games, with Norrie – double-faulted too often – seemingly disoriented after a nasty fall when he slipped on the line, and complaining to the referee about the quality of the pitch.
However, 0-3 down in the second saw another stunning turnaround as Norrie roared back. Alcaraz was beginning to look tired and sore after two weeks of playing on clay and had the physio tend to his upper right leg as he surrendered the lead.
Norrie had to deal with his opponent’s aggressive strategy but managed to prevail
The teenager was looking to shorten the points and went into all-out attack mode as he looked to complete it in straight sets.
Norrie held him off to level the match, but then had to deal with his opponent’s aggressive strategy and fell behind early in the third. Norrie broke for 3-2 in the third, only for the New York winner to torment him with drop shots and sweep it. The 27-year-old southpaw, his head finally clearing, led 6-5 and then served out.