Second seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain beat top seed Carlos Alcaraz of Spain 5-7 6-4 7-5 in a thrilling and pulsating Rio Open final on Sunday. It was the fifth career ATP title for the 27-year-old Brit.
Cameron Norrie thus also avenged his defeat in the final of the Argentina Open last week at the hands of Alcaraz. However, the match captivated the spectators fully and it was a pity that one of the players had to end on the losing side.
We will now take a look at how the match progressed:
How Cameron Norrie overcame Carlos Alcaraz in the Rio Final
Alcaraz was the more attacking player from the beginning:
The 19-year-old Alcaraz was the more attacking of the two players from the beginning and kept hitting winners all over the court. He also rushed the net frequently in order to shorten the points and that played to Norrie’s advantage at times.
The Brit, meanwhile, tried to extend rallies by playing his groundstrokes carefully and also imparting a lot of top spin to his forehand. He saved a set point in the ninth game of the first set, but could not repeat the act in the 11th one, when Alcaraz hit a return winner to win the set.
Cameron Norrie stuck to his cautious approach to win the match:
Alcaraz started playing the drop shots more frequently as the match progressed and Norrie was injured as he fell down while trying to retrieve the ball following one of those shots by the Spaniard in the second set. The Brit somehow recovered from it, but could not stop the Spaniard from racing to a 3-0 lead.
However, Alcaraz then started playing the approach shots too often and Norrie managed to pass him on a few occasions. Alcaraz’s reluctance to prolong the rallies allowed the Brit to come back into the match, as he won six of the last seven games to win the second set.
The battle continued in the final set, with Alcaraz being by far the more entertaining player, but also prone to commit mistakes. The Spaniard even hit an underarm serve in the final set, only for Norrie to dispatch his return for a winner past the former. The Brit then managed to break him in the 11th game to lead 6-5 and then served out the match.
Alcaraz hit a few outrageously good down-the-line forehand winners, return winners, and drop shots over the course of the match, but Norrie’s patience was rewarded in the end.
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports