Cameron Norrie out to kick on after breakthrough win in Rio

Australian Open Credit: Alamy
Australian Open Credit: Alamy

Cameron Norrie was delighted to claim the Rio title after a string of recent near misses and on a surface that he hasn’t had a great deal of experience on.

Norrie has, however looked imposing on South American clay, starting an impressive run during Davis Cup duty for Great Britain in Colombia.

His victory over World No 2 Carlos Alcaraz underlined his progress and also took a great weight off the shoulders of the British No 1.

“Especially on a surface that I’m not too comfortable with,” Norrie said after fighting back from a set down to defeat defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in a second consecutive ATP Tour final against the Spaniard.

“I had to battle a lot of demons the last couple weeks, but I managed to just play well in the big moments and that’s what it took today.”

Norrie was especially pleased that he was able to turn the tide of a match against a player as relentless as Alcaraz.

He said that he had taken a lot of lessons from his defeat against Alcaraz in Argentina.

“So special to win this one, especially I’d lost a couple finals already this year and I had to do it the tough way,” Norrie said.

“A set and a break down and 0/30 on my serve, I was looking done there and I managed to flick a switch and turn it around, so it was a good day.”

Norrie acknowledged the class of his opponent after the win, and savoured the victory as among the best of his career.

“What a match, Charlie, man. Another battle. I had to give absolutely everything to beat you today and obviously it could have gone your way as well” Norrie said to Alcaraz during the trophy ceremony. “Congrats on another final. Congrats to your team.

“The match could have gone either way, but I managed to run a little bit more and it was a really good match. It’s an honour to share the court with you again and compete with you.”

The Rio title is Norrie’s fifth at ATP Tour level but his first ATP 500 championship win and his second trophy on clay.

His previous clay court win came at the Lyon event that occupied the week directly before the French Open in the 2022 season, but Norrie hasn’t yet adopted clay as a favoured surface.

Norrie has the tools to be a great clay court contender though and the Rio event might be the confidence boost he needs to win big titles on the surface.

The South American clay swing gives way to a hard court event in Mexico where Norrie is in action this week.

Norrie faces Adrian Mannarino in the Round of 32 in Acapulco.

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