Cameron Norrie seems to be enjoying the defending role.
The Briton came within one win to retain his crown at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel in Los Cabos late on Friday as he struggled to take a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 semi-final victory. against second-seeded Felix Auger. -Aliassim at the ATP 250 event in Mexico.
“Especially if you win last year, you want to get out and win the title, but [I’ve just] we took it game by game,” said Norrie after his first win over the Canadian in five attempts. “It was a tough job at the start of the tournament and I got through a few matches.
“ [Against] Felix looked really tough today, so I was really happy with how I did today, especially after losing that second set.”
The world’s number 12 is now looking for his third TBEN title of 2022 in a championship match with Daniil Medvedev, after the world’s number 1 won 7-6 (0) and 6-1 against Miomir Kecmanovic.
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Friday’s win improved Norrie’s record in Los Cabos to 11-2. The Briton reached the semi-finals on his tournament debut in 2018 before running for the title last year, but his latest win on Mexico’s west coast was anything but easy. Auger-Aliassime reacted to dropping the first set with a wave action midway through the game, forcing Norrie to dig deep against an opponent he’d never beaten before.
“Every time he just gets me and plays better than me, so I really wanted to win that one more than usual,” said Norrie. “I started great and then Felix found his level in the second set so I feel really good to get through that, especially with the last game when he had a few chances to break me. I managed to hold on tight and fight it out.
“It feels great to be in the final, and especially to arrange a meeting with the world’s number 1 in Daniil.”
Norrie remained vigilant in return matches to take advantage of the opportunities he had against Auger-Aliassime. The defending champion converted three of five break points, despite his opponent amassed 17 aces, to triumph in a two-hour, 19-minute encounter and solidify his opening wins against Chun-Hsin Tseng and Radu Albot in Mexico this week.