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Cameron Norrie loses Lyon Open semi-final to Francisco Cerundolo

Cameron Norrie loses Lyon Open semi-final to Francisco Cerundolo
© Reuters
Defending Lyon Open champion Cameron Norrie bows out in the semi-finals of the clay tournament in a 6-3 6-0 defeat to Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo.

Cameron Norrie's hopes of back-to-back Lyon Open crowns came to an end in a comprehensive two-set defeat to Francisco Cerundolo in Friday's semi-final.

The defending champion - who also reached the 2021 final - was subjected to a second-set bagel as he lost 6-3 6-0 to his Argentine compatriot in one hour and 13 minutes.

Seeking revenge on the man who had ended his hopes of Lyon glory in last year's second round, Cerundolo came out all guns blazing early doors and broke Norrie in the opening game.

A noticeably off-colour Norrie only brought up one break point in the entire first set - which came on a Cerundolo double fault - as the powerful Argentine took the opener with ease.

Norrie appeared to be struggling with an injury at the start of the second - revealing that he had been hit where it hurts and being offered an apology by Cerundolo, but the world number 28's mercy did not extend beyond that gesture.

Shanked forehands and shots into the net characterised a disastrous second set for Norrie, as Cerundolo - who defeated Norire's compatriot Jack Draper in the quarter-finals - deservedly reached his first ATP Tour final of the 2023 season.

"Yesterday I started not that well and finished really well and that gave me a lot of confidence and today I showed it. I am super happy because it was a tough match. Cam is a great player and I think I played amazingly and I am happy to be in the final," Cerundolo said on the court.

The 24-year-old will now meet the winner of the other semi-final between the USA's Brandon Nakashima and France's Arthur Fils in Saturday's showpiece event.

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Cameron Norrie pictured at the Italian Open on May 12, 2023
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