Red-Hot Norrie Cools Tsitsipas In Acapulco SFs
Great Britain's Norrie, champion a week ago in Delray Beach, extended his win streak to eight straight matches with an efficient 6-4, 6-4 semi-final win over the World No. 4. Tsitsipas, a finalist in Rotterdam earlier this month, had not dropped a set at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC until Friday's contest.
In each of the two very similar sets, Norrie scored a break in the ninth game and then coolly served it out. Match point was emblematic of the match as a whole: Tsitsipas was unable to hurt his rock-steady opponent despite repeated baseline attacks, the Greek ultimately netting to send Norrie into his ninth ATP Tour final and eighth in the past two seasons.
"In general, [I hit] my forehand very loopy, my backhand very flat," Norrie said of his tactics and variety in the one-hour, 18-minute match. "I was able to dictate play to his backhand and defend my forehand quite well. I definitely felt that better in the second set, and I think my game is pretty good in these conditions."
The World No. 12 faced just one break point in the match, in the sixth game of the second set, but a Tsitsipas error ended the threat. Norrie created his only break chances in the two aforementioned games, but converted both times on a total of three break points.
He made a sublime 92 percent of his first serves in the opening set to keep the pressure off, but relied more on his baseline game behind a 57 per cent first-serve rate in set two.
"[My serve] really got me into the match and I was able to relax and was able to execute on the big points," Norrie said, admitting to some early nerves on the stadium court.
He now awaits the winner of the showdown between soon-to-be World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. The Briton said he's "got the popcorn ready" as he looks forward to watching the Australian Open final rematch.
Norrie will be playing for his fourth ATP Tour title on Saturday, with his first coming in Los Cabos and his biggest in Indian Wells, both in 2021.