Carlos Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie will fight for the title in ATP 500 tournament in Rio De Janeiro. Both players have already meet each other in last week during the final of ATP 250 in Buenos Aires, where Alcaraz routined the Brit in straight sets.
The road into final in second back-to-back clay tournament in South America was quite more bumpy for the world's number 2 than during his come-back tournament in Argentina. The Spaniard fought much more tight match that anyone could anticipate against the Mateus Alves - the local player who received wildcard, currently ranked #556 in ATP rankings. Alves was able to keep up the pace of the favorized opponent in both sets, delivering an interesting match, as he managed to break Spaniard's serves in both sets and Alcaraz needed to make the effort to routine his opponent. The match was interrupted by the weather and finished on next day, so this job took much more time for Alcaraz than expected.
Next round was any easier for the Spaniard who played against Fabio Fognini. Alcaraz lost the first set despite gaining an early break, as the experienced Italian raised his level brilliantly and broke Spaniard's serve 4 time in a row (!). This shaky set was ended up in tiebreak, where Fognini turned out to be better 7-5. Alcaraz needed regroup himself and made it well, routining his opponent in two following set, crossing the line after 2:46 hours with a score 6-7(5) 6-2 6-4.
Another difficult for Alcaraz came up in the semifinal against Nicolas Jarry. The Chilean who specializes himself in playing on clay, approached the semis without losing a single set, earning the wins against tournament's seed #3 Lorenzo Musetti in first round and #6 Sebastian Baez in QF. Alcaraz made a slow start again, losing the opening set in tie-break which was dominated by Jarry 7-2. The world's number 139 was two games away from the win with a 5-5 score in second set, but Alcaraz denied any chances for an upset, as he won 8 games in a row since then and advanced into the final.
Cameron Norrie has also lost two sets on his road to final. The seed #2 had no trouble in two opening rounds, but needed to come out of being a set down against Hugo Dellien in quarterfinal. Norrie did it well, winning 4-6 6-1 6-4 eventually. The semifinal's match against Bernabe Zapata Miralles was much more tight. The Spaniard who made second back-to-back semifinal run after last week's event in Buenos Aires, forced the tie-break of deciding set against Norrie after making up the break gap from the score 2-4. The world's number 13 was better in tiebreak tough, winning all his service points and moving into final with a score 6-2 3-6 7-6(3).
Here are the highlights of semifinals: