Cameron Norrie in the first round at 2022 Roland Garros, Paris, France
Cameron Norrie in the first round at 2022 Roland Garros, Paris, France | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tennis | ATP Lyon 2023 | Norrie overcomes Baez blip to set Cerundolo semi-final

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Cameron Norrie [2] def Sebastian Baez [6] 6-2 2-6 6-1
  • Norrie v Francisco Cerundolo [4] | H2H: Tied at 1-1
LYON, FRANCE – Cameron Norrie overcame a second set blip against Sebastian Baez to reach the semi-finals in Lyon where he will face Francisco Cerundolo.


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Cameron Norrie [2] def Sebastian Baez [6] 6-2 2-6 6-1

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Cameron Norrie is into the semi-finals in Lyon after beating Sebastian Baez in three sets for a second year in a row. Norrie made a confident start to the match, dictating play from the baseline and being as aggressive as possible against Baez’s gritty baseline game. The Brit was clinical on return and broke Baez in the second game as well as consolidating in the next game to take a 3-0 lead.

The Argentinian found his confidence later in the set as he looked for depth and efficient ways to force errors from Norrie’s game. Baez forced the issue towards the end of the set as he improved his tactics on pressure points, saving break point in the sixth game to hold and survive the double break.

In the next game, Baez produced some effective returning as he extended the rallies and remained patient as he pushed Norrie to his limits on serve. However Norrie survived his first test of the match and that saw him raise his intensity as he did seal the double break to claim a gruelling opening set in 45 minutes.

Despite losing the opening set, Baez continued to be confident and aggressive on return as he was rewarded for his tactics in the opening game as he broke to 15. That didn’t seem to faze Norrie who almost did what he did against David Goffin and that was break back in the middle of the set. The Brit created two break points but unlike yesterday, couldn’t convert as Baez remained stubborn and held on to his break advantage.

That turned out to be a big moment in the set as Norrie failed to establish any real consistency on return with Norrie lacking that clinical finish to points. The same couldn’t be said for Baez though as he was the more clinical player, securing the double break lead in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead. The Argentinian closed out an impressive set of tennis to level the match at one set all.

Composure is a quality that Norrie keeps at all times throughout the season and the defending champion remained composed in his tactics. The Brit only lost one point in the opening three games as he went back to his aggressive and proactive tennis to take a 3-0 lead and establish control of the match.

Despite Baez holding to love in the fourth game, the Argentinian couldn’t physically keep up with Norrie’s high quality tennis both in attack and defence. The Brit’s high level of fitness paid off as he secured the next three games with relative ease as he booked his place in the Lyon semi-finals for a second year in a row.


Cameron Norrie [2] v Francisco Cerundolo [4] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Cameron Norrie [2] v Francisco Cerundolo [4] H2H: Tied at 1-1
ATP Lyon 2023 Lyon, France
Clay (O) Prize Money: €17,010
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Norrie will now face Francisco Cerundolo in the last four after the Argentinian came back from a set and a break down to defeat Jack Draper.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

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H2H: Cameron Norrie (WR 14) Francisco Cerundolo (WR 28)
Tournament Previous Best Champion (2022) R2 (2022)
1st Serve % 65 66.3
Service Games Won % 80.7 76.6
Break Points Saved % 59.4 61.5
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 52.5 51.4
Break Points Converted % 40.1 40.8

Norrie will look to continue his improved efficiency on return with Cerundolo posing a consistent threat on serve throughout this clay court season.



Playing Styles and Prediction

Cerundolo has had a very good clay court season and is looking to prove why he will be a dangerous floater in the Roland Garros draw. The Argentinian has proven this year that he can consistently compete on the main tour and now the world number 28 will look to carry the momentum into Roland Garros by winning the title in Lyon.

Norrie will look to be aggressive from the backhand side and continue his improved quality on return by being clinical in the pressure moments. While Cerundolo will look to be consistent from his forehand and use the angles to open up space on the court. Norrie knows how dangerous Cerundolo can be after losing to the Argentinian in Monte-Carlo earlier in the clay season but the result should be different this time given Norrie’s improved form and confidence.

Prediction: Norrie in three sets.



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