Lyon | Norrie recovers for second title of season

British No 1 Cameron Norrie completed his preparations for this year’s French Open which kicks off on Sunday, by pocketing the fourth title of his career when he defeated Alex Molcan 6-3 6-7(3) 6-1 in the ‘Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon’ title.

It's my first one on clay. It means a lot for me - I couldn't be happier with how I handled everything this week Cameron Norrie

Top seed Norrie, who lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year’s final, bounced back from dropping the second set on a tie-break to triumph against Slovakia’s Alex Molcan, who is now being coached by Novak Djokovic’s former mentor Marian Vajda.

Norrie, the world number 11, should have won in straight sets having held two match points in the second before being forced into a decider on the tie-break.

There he broke Molcan early with is seventh break of serve from 11 opportunities, and with that, the Slovak challenge faded.

“This one feels the best so far, I don’t know why, it’s so special,” Norrie, 26, told the packed centre court.

“It’s my first one on clay. It means a lot for me – I couldn’t be happier with how I handled everything this week.”

Norrie, whose four ATP titles have come in the space of just 10 months, found himself a double break up in the first set before Molcan, ranked 47, required medical attention for a cut knee.

Despite that, Molcan fought back in the first set to recover one break only to lose his serve again allowing the top seed to serve it out.

The fightback continued in the second which was a much tighter affair, but Norrie held the advantage and at 5-4 should have completed the job only for the 24-year-old Molcan to raise his game to level and force the final into a decider.

There, Norrie quickly regained control and didn’t allow Molcan any chances as he swept through to complete his victory after two-hours and 31-minutes.

Norrie continued: “I had chances to close the matches in straight sets this week and get it done easier than usual and it didn’t go that way and I was able to let that go and respond.

“In the third set, I moved really well and it’s nice to get over the line.

“It was an incredible atmosphere. Thanks to everyone for coming out.”

Now Norrie hopes that it will prove the launching pad for a good run at the French Open where he has yet to get past the third round. He plays the French wildcard Manuel Guinard on Monday, who had to qualify for the Lyon event and then reached the quarter finals where he lost in three sets to the Danish wonder-kid Holger Rune.



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