DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Cameron Norrie’s year started off slowly, with four consecutive losses.
He seems to have found his stride.
Norrie won the third ATP Tour title of his career, the No. 1 seed beating second-seeded Reilly Opelka 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4) in the Delray Beach Open. All three of those titles for Norrie have come in the last seven months, after he won at Los Cabos in July and then Indian Wells in October.
Norrie – who was only 2-5 in 2022 entering this tournament – also had to do it the hard way against the huge-hitting Opelka, who piled up 25 aces. Opelka had won 14 of his last 17 tiebreakers, but Norrie managed to win two of them.
Norrie had played Delray on three other occasions, and each return has gone a bit better than the last. He dropped a first-round match in his initial appearance there in 2018, made the round of 16 in 2020, went to the semifinals last year and now is the Delray champion.
It was Opelka’s first loss in his last nine matches at Delray. He was the 2020 champion there.
Opelka was playing for a fourth consecutive day, after spending 7 hours, 23 minutes on the court in his three matches – all of them three-setters, six of those nine sets going to tiebreakers – leading up to the final.
Norrie had a much easier route to the final, needing only 5 hours, 3 minutes to win his three matches to get to Sunday. He also had an off day in there, not playing on Thursday. The round of 16 for the bottom half of the draw – Opelka’s half – was Thursday, while for Norrie’s half it was on Wednesday. Quarterfinals for all players were Friday, with semifinals Saturday and then Sunday’s final.
PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.
The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.
He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.
The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.
“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”
Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”