Cameron Norrie reaches second Masters semi-final after gutsy win

Cameron Norrie

Cameron Norrie managed to reverse a fightback from Carlos Alcaraz to reach his second career ATP 1000 Masters semi-final at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio.

The Texas Christian University alumni claimed the first set in a tiebreak before racing out to a 4-1 lead in the second.

However, Norrie admits he lost focus in the second set and had to mount his own rally in the decisive set after Alcaraz had forced and claimed the second set tiebreaker.

The pair spent just over three hours on court before Norrie claimed a 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-4 victory to book passage to the last four.

“That was unbelievable,” Norrie said.

“Credit to Carlos.

“I was up a set and a break, 4-1, and I kind of lost a little bit of vision.

“I was thinking a little bit too much about the finish line rather than focussing on how I was winning points and I honestly got a little bit tight and he raised his level, didn’t give me anything.”

“I just wanted to hang tough with him and I think the only place I had him better was the legs and the physicality,” he continued.

“So I was just trying to make every rally as physical as I could and make it tough for him to finish points.”

Norrie says he really had to dig his heels in to overcome the dominant forehand of the Spanish teen.

“It’s tough because he can take the racquet completely out of your hand,” Norrie said.

“When he’s dictating with the forehand it’s really tough and you’re running a lot.

“I just had to try to put the ball in awkward positions in the court.

“I managed to serve well, I improved a lot on my previous matches.”

Norrie will face former top 20 player Borna Coric of Croatia in the last four in a match that will get underway late on Saturday evening UK time.

The other semi-final will be contested between a pair of top ten players in World No 1 Daniil Medvedev and World No 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Both men snuffed out home challengers in the last eight with Medvedev getting the better of Taylor Fritz before Tsitsipas downed John Isner.

Medvedev is enjoying the fast courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center although he concedes that it is tough to beat players with a good serve in Cincy.

“Cincinnati fast courts and fast balls and I have always liked it. But always tricky matches, especially between two great servers,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview.

“I feel like me and Taylor served good, even if we aren’t John [Isner] maybe! I knew that it was going to be a tight match.

“The first set he was on top of me a little bit.

“He had many more chances than I did on my serve, but I managed to stay in.

“There were some set points where I could have missed and no one would have talked about it, it would have been normal.

“But I managed to stay in the set and that helped me win the match.”

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Tsitsipas overcame a rain delay and the big serve of Isner to book his place in the last four.

The Greek No 1 said afterwards that he had to keep reminding himself to stay patient and snatch his opening when it came.

“I knew coming into the match that it is never easy playing against him,” Tsitsipas commented.

“You have to deal with lots of different variations of play and I think the most important thing is to stay patient because there will be a lot of situations that you can’t really control. That is what I was trying to do today.

“It all came [down] to a few points at the end of that set and I was just able to hang in there and make one more ball back and not give him much to work with.”

Looking ahead to his match against Medvedev, the Monte Carlo champion expects an even tougher challenge.

“I am going to have to play my game,” Tsitsipas said.

“I have been playing well so far. Of course an obstacle like Daniil is never easy. I am going to try and approach my game in the most precise and best manner and let my tennis do the talking.”