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Cameron Norrie battles past Holger Rune into Lyon Open final

Cameron Norrie battles past Holger Rune into Lyon Open final
© Reuters
Cameron Norrie recovers from a second-set lapse to defeat Holger Rune 6-2 5-7 6-4 and advance to the final of the Lyon Open for the second year running.

British number one Cameron Norrie survived a scare against Denmark's Holger Rune to advance to the final of the Lyon Open courtesy of a three-set victory on Friday.

The world number 11 - who lost the final of the ATP 250 event to Stefanos Tsitsipas last year - was pushed all the way by Rune but ultimately prevailed 6-2 5-7 6-4 in windy conditions.

Norrie came storming out of the blocks with an early break before Rune's double fault handed the Brit a 3-0 lead, with his opponent on the brink of being served a bagel in the opening set.

An outpouring of emotion from Rune after going 5-0 down seemed to galvanise the 19-year-old, with Norrie failing to serve for the set after a mishit drop-shot.

Rune showed Norrie how it was done in the next game to reduce the deficit down to 5-2, but his early mistakes proved costly as Norrie's backhand smash handed him the first set.

The second set proved to be a much tighter affair as Rune grew into the match, and it was deja vu for Norrie, who had ceded the second set of his quarter-final to Sebastian Baez.

Norrie hit a wild forehand beyond the baseline to hand the teenager a break back and level the scores at 4-4, and he could not serve to stay in the set, with a rejuvenated Rune forcing a third.

Cameron Norrie in action in March 2022© Reuters

The deciding set proved as competitive as the second, with neither man able to earn the vital break until game nine, with Rune just unable to reach Norrie's well-executed volley.

The 2021 runner-up stormed into a 40-0 lead in the 10th game and took his first match point as a fired-up Rune netted from close range, handing the Brit the opportunity to rectify his mistakes from last year's final in the showpiece event.

"It's never easy. Again finishing a match I gifted a couple of easy ones for him to win the second. I was mad inside but managed to stay composed and told myself to stay positive," Norrie told Amazon Prime after the semi-final win.

"Then I played my best two games at the end of the match. It's nice to get over the line when the nerves are there, you always want to be in the final here, and it was a really good atmosphere on such a windy day.

"I've matured a little bit and played a lot of big matches, and I've played better in those bigger matches. I'm definitely gonna have to use the experience of losing the final last year to hold the trophy in Lyon, and it's perfect preparation for Roland Garros, so I hope I can go one better this year."

Norrie will take on Alex Molcan of Slovakia in Saturday's final after the world number 46 defeated Australia's Alex de Minaur 7-6 [7-2] 6-2 earlier on Friday.

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Cameron Norrie in action at the Madrid Open on May 2, 2022
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