RIO DE JANEIRO — Cameron Norrie waited a week for his revenge against top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz, rallying from a set and 3-0 down to beat the Spanish teenager in the Rio Open final on Sunday for his first title of the year.
Second-seeded Norrie won 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to win the fifth title of his career after defeats in the final to Richard Gasquet in Auckland in January and to Alcaraz in the Argentina Open championship match last weekend.
Alcaraz’s failure to retain his title at the clay-court tournament in Rio de Janeiro also stopped him from tying with Novak Djokovic in points at the top of the rankings. Djokovic would still have been No. 1 due to other results.
Alcaraz and Norrie went head-to-head in a tightly fought first set, which was eventually decided by Alcaraz’s drop shots breaking Norrie’s serve.
Alcaraz showed more confidence with his powerful forehand shots at the start of the second set and opened a 3-0 advantage against Norrie. But the British player recovered in the middle of the set as Alcaraz felt pains in his right leg, which hindered his movement and serve.
Norrie led most of the deciding set but had to work hard against a recovering Alcaraz. Norrie’s strong returns helped him to prevail in 2 hours, 42 minutes, clinching the title with an ace.
Norrie dropped to his knees and roared to celebrate in front of a crowd that was mostly supporting Alcaraz.
Alcaraz was sidelined for four months with a leg muscle injury and returned to the tour last week at the Argentina Open, where he dropped only one set en route to his first title since his Grand Slam breakthrough at the US Open last year.