Norrie Survives Rune Challenge To Set Molcan Final In Lyon
The Briton led by a break in the second set, before the 19-year-old demonstrated his fighting qualities to force a decider. However, in windy conditions, the 26-year-old regained his focus in the third set to triumph after two hours and three minutes in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.
“It is never easy to close a match. I had a break in the second and then gifted a couple easy ones. I was pretty mad inside but I managed to stay composed,” Norrie said in his on-court interview. “I was telling myself to stay positive and I managed to play the two best games of the match in the last two games. It is nice to get over the line when the nerves are there and you want to be in the final again.”
Norrie, who eliminated Francisco Cerundolo and Sebastian Baez earlier this week, has now reached consecutive finals in Lyon, having lost to Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas last year. Rune was aiming to lift his second tour-level trophy in the south of France after clinching the Munich crown in April.
Norrie captured the title in Delray Beach in February, before he fell to Rafael Nadal in the championship match in Acapulco. The World No. 11 will continue the quest for his maiden clay-court title when he plays Alex Molcan in the final at the ATP 250 event on Saturday.
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The Slovakian downed Australian Alex de Minaur 7-6(2), 6-2 in one hour and 48 minutes to advance to his third ATP Tour final.
“It was very tight. I survived in the first set and in the tie-break he helped me with some misses, which helped me a lot to win the first set,” Molcan said. “In the second set I was playing solid and didn’t make many mistakes. I am really happy.”
Molcan has yet to drop a set in Lyon and now holds a 9-2 tour-level record on clay in 2022. The 24-year-old, who is up to No. 39 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, lost to David Goffin in the championship match in Marrakech last month.
The lefty will be aiming to clinch his maiden tour-level title when he faces Norrie on Saturday.