Ramos-Vinolas Captures Estoril Crown

Spaniard earns third ATP Tour title on clay

Albert Ramos-Vinolas’ impressive clay-court form in 2021 was rewarded on Sunday when the Spaniard collected his third ATP Tour title at the Millennium Estoril Open.

The 33-year-old rallied from a set and a break down and won 51 per cent of his second-serve return points (19/37) to defeat fellow left-hander Cameron Norrie 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). Ramos-Vinolas triumphed in two hours and 44 minutes, and he is now 16-5 on clay this year. The Spaniard owns seven more clay-court victories than any other player on the ATP Tour this season.

“It means a lot [to win the title]. I won three tournaments in my career, so this is one of the best three weeks in my career. I am really happy,” Ramos-Vinolas said. “It was a really difficult match against Cameron. I think he played a really good tournament. I am happy for me, but he is a really good friend of mine and I am sorry for him, because I think he deserved to win the tournament as [much as] me.”

2021 ATP Tour Clay-Court Wins Leaderboard

Rank Player Win-Loss Record
1 Albert Ramos-Vinolas 16
T2 Pablo Carreno Busta 9
Federico Delbonis 9
Stefanos Tsitsipas 9
5 Facundo Bagnis 8

Ramos-Vinolas has won all three of his ATP Head2Head encounters against Norrie. The World No. 46 also beat Norrie on clay in the first round of the 2018 Davis Cup and at the 2019 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

“I know how difficult it is to win one tournament. I know how difficult it is to be consistent week after week and I can just [say] that I am really happy and I want to enjoy this moment," Ramos-Vinolas said.

After trailing by a set and a break, Ramos-Vinolas attacked with his forehand to recover the break in a marathon game at 2-1 in the second set and he capitalised on multiple Norrie errors to force the match to a decider. A final-set tie-break was needed to decide the outcome of the match and Ramos-Vinolas trusted his powerful forehand in key moments to dictate rallies, extract errors and clinch victory.

Norrie was aiming to capture his maiden ATP Tour title. The World No. 50, who won the Estoril doubles crown in 2018 (w/Edmund), defeated second seed Cristian Garin and sixth seed Marin Cilic en route to his second tour-level championship match (0-2).

“I had some good wins," Norrie said. "It is obviously disappointing to come unstuck today, but I am playing well on the clay and moving better and better… It was a great week and I can take a lot of positives, but [there] is a lot of stuff to work on as well.”

Did You Know?
Norrie and Ramos-Vinolas’ clash was the second ATP Tour final of the season between left-handed players. At the Cordoba Open in February, #NextGenATP Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo defeated Ramos-Vinolas in another three-set championship match.