In sports there is always payback and when this comes, they usually create a glorious moment, and this happened to Cameron Norrie (GBR), who came to play in the new venue, Cabo Sports Complex (CSC), and although he is living the best season of his career, he still had a pending ATP Title to win.
With that being said, the Briton left behind the three finals that he lost in the year (Estoril, Lyon and Queen’s) as soon as he won the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021, tournament in which he became a champion and owner of the “Pelota Huichol” of this fifth edition after defeating Brandon Nakashima (USA) 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour 23 minutes.
Despite the fact that both of them tried to quickly get to the final of the Mexican ATP 250, the first seeded was the one that gained the control on the hard court of the Grandstand Caliente.mx by breaking the American’s serve in the third and fifth game, which helped him combine his serve and closed the game 6-2.
Nakashima couldn’t find a way to counterattack Norrie’s shots, since the Briton played a very solid game in the court, while the talented 19-year-old decided to take risks with angled shots and some drop shots that did not helped him.
The match did not change much in the second set until Cameron Norrie stepped on the accelerator, he was able to quickly break his rival in the third game to get 2-1. However, Brandon Nakashima had a small hope of staying on track when he recovered the break immediately (2-2).
Despite losing the partial advantage, Norrie once again broke his opponent’s serve in the fifth game in order to take the lead 3-2, plus, he showed his best tennis with spectacular shots, especially on two occasions when he got to the net to finish with straight forehands, leaving Nakashima astonished.
At the end there were moments of tension and nervousness when the Briton had a double break point for the tournament in the 40-15 of the 5-2, after a questionable shot from Nakashima to the baseline, which the judge called out. In that same game, the young Next Gen talent saved three more points, but he was unable to save another, and with that, Cameron Norrie became the champion of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021.
This is how an exciting week of tennis ended in Los Cabos, which will leave a mark on the two finalists’ careers, and for the event as well with the historic premiere of the new Cabo Sports Complex (CSC).
Norrie saw his talent, effort and dedication reflected in a title after he had several failed attempts in the past. This helped him obtain 250 points in the ATP ranking that will increase his number to his best position, starting Monday (No. 29). He also improved some personal achievements such as getting his 35th win of the season (he already defeated Novak Djokovic) and also took the $58,705 Prize Money.
Nakashima can leave the tournament feeling satisfied despite not being crowned, because he had the best week of his career: winning his first main draw matches at an ATP Tour level, debuted in a Final, he will also enter the Top 100 in the world, he will get to the Next Gen Finals and, above all, he sent a message that a young promise will star in the circuit.
The path was not easy for Norrie, since in order to win the “Pelota Huichol” during this week, he had to defeat Elias Ymer (SWE) in the Round of sixteen, Ernesto Escobedo (USA) in the Quarterfinals, Taylor Fritz (USA) in the Semifinals and Brandon Nakashima (USA) in the Final.
“Experience was the key to win”
Cameron Norrie raised the “Pelota Huichol” and looked at it with appreciation. The trophy awarded by the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 represents his first title at an ATP tour level, a moment that has been denied to him four times, three this year and one previously.
“I’m very happy. I couldn’t be more proud of myself, my team and how I handled the situation, I like how I get better with each game. I think my experience helped me today,” he said.
Already thinking about the following tournaments on his calendar, the brand-new Los Cabos champion was grateful to have the opportunity to play again on Mexican soil.
“My process is still the same, I think it’s a great motivation to win, it was always a personal goal to have my first title. I lost three finals this year, so I’m happy with my victory tonight and I’m going to enjoy it and then go back to work. I always like to play in Mexico,” he added.
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