Norrie Downs Cilic To Reach Estoril Final
The World No. 50 withstood 16 aces and saved five of the six break points he faced to defeat former World No. 3 Marin Cilic 7-6(5), 7-5 for a place in his second tour-level championship match. Norrie is seeking his first ATP Tour title, more than two years after finishing as a runner-up at the 2019 ASB Classic in Auckland.
“I was really tough. I started a little bit slow and managed to ease my way into the match. [I] played really good when break point down and went after it,” Norrie said in his on-court interview. “[Marin] was serving great and it was really tricky to get his first serve back… I am fortunate to get through and I am just happy to be in my second final.”
This is the latest step in a remarkable 2021 campaign for the 25-year-old. Norrie has compiled 18 tour-level victories this season, which ties him with third-placed Jannik Sinner on the 2021 ATP Tour wins leaderboard. Only Monte-Carlo finalists Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev own more tour-level wins this year.
2021 ATP Tour Wins Leaderboard
“I am playing good. I am competing really well and I am just really happy with myself,” Norrie said. “I am keeping a really consistent level, even on days [when] I am not quite feeling [my best]. I am still digging in there and making it physical and playing on my terms, being the one dictating points. I think that is the reason why I am having a bit of success. I just want to keep improving and keep getting better.”
The unseeded Brit attacked Cilic’s forehand and benefitted from poorly-timed double faults from the 2014 US Open champion to recover from 0-3 down in the first set. Norrie claimed the only break of the second set in the final game of the match, when he struck a forehand winner up the line to clinch victory. The 6’2” left-hander has defeated consecutive seeds to reach the final, following his quarter-final win against second seed Cristian Garin.
Norrie will meet Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final. The Spaniard recovered from a break down in both sets to beat countryman Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1, 6-4. The 33-year-old converted five of his six break points to advance to his 10th ATP Tour final (2-7) after 77 minutes.
Ramos-Vinolas’ victory against Davidovich Fokina extended his lead at the top of the 2021 tour-level clay-court wins list. The World No. 46 owns 15 victories on the surface this season, six clear of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Pablo Carreno Busta and Federico Delbonis, who are tied in second place with nine clay wins this year.
Ramos-Vinolas will attempt to extend his unbeaten 2-0 ATP Head2Head record against Norrie in the final. The two-time ATP Tour titlist won both his previous encounters against Norrie on clay.
“I am really happy… I am fighting a lot [and I am] tactically [doing] good," Ramos-Vinolas said in his post-match interview. "Tomorrow is another match, another day and I have a really tough opponent who [has been] playing really good tennis [throughout] the season. Last week, he played three good matches and this week he has beaten very good players. I think tomorrow will be very difficult.”
Did You Know?
Norrie is aiming to become the first player to win both the singles and doubles titles at the Millennium Estoril Open. The Brit captured the doubles trophy alongside countryman Kyle Edmund in 2018.