British No. 1 Cameron Norrie outclassed third seed Carlos Alcaraz to claim a 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 victory and book his place in the Western & Southern Open semi-finals. in Cincinnati, where he will face Borna Coric after the Croatian beat Felix Auger Aliassime 6-4, 6-4.
Norrie squandered a 4-1 lead in the second set before coming back from 1-3 down in the decider to defeat the 19-year-old Spaniard in just over three hours.
“I just wanted to be tough on him. I thought he had the advantage in fitness and legs and was just trying to make every rally as physical as possible,” said Norrie.
Alcaraz, seeking his third ATP Masters 1000 title this season, had to regret a series of break chances, converting just two of 13 when Norrie outlasted his opponent at 4-4 in the third set to secure victory. .
“It was a really good battle and just what I needed before the US Open,” added Norrie.
Meanwhile, World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated big American threats Taylor Fritz and John Isner to also reach the semi-finals.
Medvedev, champion in Cincinnati in 2019, honed his game for his upcoming US Open title defense. He set up a fight with Isner, but it was enough for a 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-3 win. .
Medvedev’s victory was fueled by 18 aces while Fritz missed, one of the game’s great batsmen, only having three countered by three double faults.
Isner, the biggest server in men’s tennis with almost 200 more aces than his nearest rival Nick Kyrgios, also hit 18 aces, but it still wasn’t enough to defeat his patient Greek opponent.
While it seemed like a comfortable victory for Medvedev, it was quite the opposite, as the Russian saved three set points in the first match before eventually prevailing 7-1 in the tiebreak.
From then on, Medvedev took charge, hitting the only break of the match early in the second, and that would be all it took to advance to the quarterfinals in Cincinnati for the second year in a row.
“In the first set he was a bit on top of me,” Medvedev admitted. “She had a lot more chances than me with my serve, but I managed to stay.
“There were some set points where it could have failed and no one would have talked about it, it would have been normal.
“But I managed to stay in the set and that helped me win the match.”
Breaks were just as scarce in the match between Tsitsipas and Isner.
After a first set without a single break chance for either player, Tsitsipas took the lead and took the tiebreaker 7-5.
The first break chance would finally come in the 11th game of the second set, when Isner would need three chances to convert for a 6-5 lead, then hold serve to send the contest into a decider.
Up 4-3 and with Isner serving, Tsitsipas would finally get his only break chance, and he made it count, punching the air with delight as he watched the American return sail long for a 5-3 lead.
“I think the most important thing with him is to try to be patient because there will be a lot of situations that you can’t really control,” said Tsitsipas, who now faces Medvedev for a place in Sunday’s final.
“It all ended in a few points at the end… I was able to hang in there and play one more ball and not give him much to work with.”