Cameron Norrie took his second ATP Tour title of the season on Saturday, beating Slovakian Alex Molcan 6-3, 6-7 (3) and 6-1 in the final of the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon.
The frontrunner lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship game at the ATP 250 event last year, but produced an intense and action-packed performance against Molcan to ensure he didn’t fall at the final hurdle again this week, sealing victory over his third game point.
In a hard-fought battle, Norrie recovered from wasting two match points on Molcan’s service in the second set as he held off an offensive bombardment of the 24-year-old before making the final decision after two hours and 31 minutes.
It’s my first title on clay, so it means a lot to me, said Norrie in his on-track interview. I couldn’t be happier with how I handled everything this week. This one feels the best so far. I don’t know why it’s just so special and I couldn’t be happier and am really speechless right now. It was an incredible atmosphere. Thanks to everyone for coming out.
I had opportunities this week to finish the matches in straight sets and get it easier than usual and it didn’t go that way and I was able to let go of that and react. In the third set I moved really well and it’s nice to cross the line.
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The Briton, who defeated Francisco Cerundolo, Sebastian Baez and Holger Rune en route to the championship game, is the fifth player to have won multiple tour-level titles in 2022, alongside Carlos Alcaraz (4), Rafael Nadal (3) and Andrey Rublev ( 3) and Reilly Opelka (2). Norrie defeated Opelka to lift the trophy at Delray Beach in February.
The world No. 11 has now captured four ATP Tour titles in his career, with his win in the south of France, the first time he has won a crown on clay. It’s also Norrie’s first tour-level triumph outside of North America.
Norrie got off to a quick start at Court Central when he gave Molcan trouble with his watertight foundations, with the Slovak taking time to get used to. The Briton pushed a double break ahead, and while Molcan got one back, he was unable to break through Norrie on a regular basis as the 26-year-old took the lead.
At the start of the second set, breaks were then exchanged, after which Norrie conjured two match points on Molcan’s service at 4-5. However, the 24-year-old saved both before continuing to tie the knot in the tie-break. However, Norrie shot out in the third set, leaving his disappointment behind to play the more consistent tennis, pulling Molcan back and forth to take the win.
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Molcan defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Karen Khachanov, Federico Coria and Alex de Minaur in straight sets to reach his third ATP Tour final and second in as many months after progressing to the championship match in Marrakech.
However, the 24-year-old, who ranks 38 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, was unable to outsmart Norrie for any length of time in front of a packed crowd in Lyon.
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