Cam Norrie agonisingly fell short on Sunday night in his bid to emulate Dan Evans by landing a first ATP Tour title when he was edged out of the final at Portugal’s Estoril Open.
The British number two looked in command early on against Spain‘s Albert Ramos Vinolas but failed to keep his momentum up in eventually losing 4-6 6-3 7-6 in two and three quarter hours.
After a war of attrition he led 3-1 in the sudden death tiebreak, but then conceded the next six points amid blustery conditions to fall to the world number 46.
Cam Norrie (pictured at Barcelona Open) fell short of winning his first ATP Tour title in Portugal
It was nonetheless another strong week for Norrie, including a semi-final win over Marin Cilic, and he could claim to be among the tour’s strongest improvers so far in 2021.
In terms of pure match wins he remains third equal among all players with eighteen as he showcases the modifications he has made to his game.
It helps that he has played repeatedly, staying away from his Putney base and remaining on the circuit because of the complications which would arise from travelling back to the UK in the current circumstances.
Ultimately his stay in the fashionable seaside retreat of Cascais ended in disappointment as he failed to go one better on his only previous final in Auckland, the city where he largely grew up.
Norrie lost the Estoril Open final 4-6 6-3 7-6 to Spain’s Albert Ramos in just under three hours
Demonstrating his serve that has taken on more potency, and the willingness to take the ball earlier near the baseline, he had his opponent in real trouble after getting the decisive first set break at 4-4.
He was leading 2-1 in the second when Ramos Vinolas, a highly experienced clay court specialist, called an injury timeout to get treatment on a quad muscle from the physio in front of the empty stands.
Norrie recovered from a break down in the decider but ultimately could not land the knockout blow in the final shootout.