Cameron Norrie has always maintained that Estoril was his favourite tournament and his arrival in the Millennium Estoril Open will no doubt contribute to his current preference.
I was really tough. I started a little bit slow and managed to ease my way into the match. I played really good at break point down and went after it. He was serving great, and it was really tricky to get his first serve back. I am fortunate to get through and I am just happy to be in my second final. I am competing really well and I am just really happy with myself Cameron Norrie
Norrie, the British No.2, reached the title round of a tournament for the second time in his career having unsuccessfully contested his first in Auckland in 2019, by defeating the sixth seed Marin Cilic, a former world No.3 and US Open champion.
But it wasn’t and easy passage as the in-form Briton, who is ranked 50 in the world, hung on to edge through 7-6(5) 7-5, surviving 16 aces from the Croat and saving five of the six break points he faced in the two-hour contest.
The 25-year-old Brit recovered from an early break in the first set and then clinched victory with a break in the final game of the match to secure his 18th win of the season and leaves hm one victory short of his maiden ATP Tour title.
“I was really tough,” Norrie said during his on-court interview. “I started a little bit slow and managed to ease my way into the match.
“I played really good at break point down and went after it. He was serving great, and it was really tricky to get his first serve back. I am fortunate to get through and I am just happy to be in my second final.
“I am competing really well and I am just really happy with myself,” Norrie added.
“I am keeping a really consistent level, even on days [when] I am not quite feeling [my best]. I am still digging in there and making it physical and playing on my terms, being the one dictating points. I think that is the reason why I am having a bit of success. I just want to keep improving and keep getting better.”
Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain however, who holds a 2-0 win-loss record over Norrie, is the player the Brit will have to overcome to win his maiden title.
The Spaniard, holder of two titles, beat his own countryman Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1 6-4 by converting five of his six break-points to progress into his 10th ATP Tour final after 77-minutes.
“I am really happy… I am fighting a lot [and I am] tactically [doing] good,” Ramos-Vinolas said in his post-match interview. “Tomorrow is another match, another day and I have a really tough opponent who [has been] playing really good tennis [throughout] the season. Last week, he played three good matches and this week he has beaten very good players. I think tomorrow will be very difficult.”