Rio de Janeiro | Norrie makes last four

Britain’s No.1, Cameron Norrie, at this year’s Rio Open, became the third defending champion in the tournament’s history, to reach consecutive semi-finals of the ATP 500 level event behind Rafa Nadal (2014-15) and Carlos Alcaraz (2022-23) and hopes to become the first ever player to successfully defend the title and win the event for a second time.

To reach the last four, Norrie, the second seed, came through a tricky encounter against the local boy, Thiago Seyboth Wild and the very partisan crowd, but after two hours secured a satisfying 6-1 3-6 6-2 victory.

The 28-year-old Briton held off the Brazilian’s comeback by claiming the second set, clinched victory on his fifth match point to advance to his first semi-final since Lyon last May.

“I was just really proud of how I fought hard,” Norrie said post-match. “It was so humid — and it was tough physically. I managed to break there in the end, so I’m proud of myself.

“It’s massive,” Norrie added on returning to a tour-level semi-final. “I had a tough patch at the end of last year and I just wanted to stay strong. It’s wins like this that make it count.”

Norrie will face 22-year-old Argentine qualifier Mariano Navone who ended the dream run of 17-year-old Brazilian wild card and hometown hero Joao Fonseca with a 2-6 6-3 6-3 victory to close Friday’s play.

In the draw’s top semi-final will be an all-Argentine affair between fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo and fifth seed Sebastian Baez. Baez was a 6-4 1-6 6-2 winner over Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro earlier on Friday, while Cerundolo beat Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 3-6 6-4 6-4.



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