Home » Rio: Navone knocks out Norrie. Derby final with Baez

Rio: Navone knocks out Norrie. Derby final with Baez

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Rio: Navone knocks out Norrie.  Derby final with Baez

Rio de Janeiro check it out impregnable territory for the defending champions. This time it was the British Cameron Norrie who paid the price, overtaken by the excellent conduct of the Argentine Mariano Navone, who prevailed without major problems by 64 62.
Norrie tried everything, but her physical condition wasn’t the best. The British player also requested the intervention of the physiotherapist and the tournament doctor due to respiratory problems and despite fighting until the last ball he was never able to give a significant turn to the match.
After the initial exchange of breaks, Norrie lost serve again in the seventh game. Down 5-3, he tried to resist by canceling 5 set points in a crucial game, but then in the next one he had to give up.
In the second set the situation was repeated: exchange of breaks and then, after saving 4 break points, Norrie went into a deep breath, slipping down 5-1 without having the chance to recover.
For Navone it is the first victory of his career against a top 50 player and it is also the first time that a qualifier has reached the final in an ATP 500 tournament since Jiri Vesely who achieved this feat in Dubai in 2022. “It’s incredible – declared Navone at the end of the match – and it’s nice to be here in Rio playing in my first ATP final of my career. I’m playing so well this week that I hope to win the title.”
With the victory over Norrie, Mariano Navone suddenly gains 53 positions going from number 113 to number 60 in the world.

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And his opponent in Sunday’s final will be his compatriot Sebastian Baez who came from behind to beat his compatriot Francisco Cerundolo by 75 60. The match was decided in the tenth game of the first set when Baez saved 3 set points. Having escaped the danger, Baez played 9 consecutive games, closing the match without further problems.
With the final in Rio, Sebastian Baez obtains his new best ranking of number 23 in the world, while Cerundolo, despite the defeat, returns among the top 20 players in the world. For Baez the one against Navone (unprecedented new challenge) it will be the seventh final of his career playing with a balance of 4 titles (Estoril 2022, Cordoba, Kitzbuhel and Winston-Salem 2023) and 2 lost finals (Santiago and Bastad 2022).

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