Cameron Norrie wins the 2021 Mifel Open
In sports there is always payback and when this comes, they usually create a glorious moment, and this happened to Cameron Norrie (GBR), who came to play in the new venue, Cabo Sports Complex (CSC), and although he is living the best season of his career, he still had a pending ATP Title to win.
With that being said, the Briton left behind the three finals that he lost in the year (Estoril, Lyon and Queen’s) as soon as he won the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021, tournament in which he became a champion and owner of the “Pelota Huichol” of this fifth edition after defeating Brandon Nakashima (USA) 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour 23 minutes.
Despite the fact that both of them tried to quickly get to the final of the Mexican ATP 250, the first seeded was the one that gained the control on the hard court of the Grandstand Caliente.mx by breaking the American’s serve in the third and fifth game, which helped him combine his serve and closed the game 6-2.
Nakashima couldn’t find a way to counterattack Norrie’s shots, since the Briton played a very solid game in the court, while the talented 19-year-old decided to take risks with angled shots and some drop shots that did not helped him.
The match did not change much in the second set until Cameron Norrie stepped on the accelerator, he was able to quickly break his rival in the third game to get 2-1. However, Brandon Nakashima had a small hope of staying on track when he recovered the break immediately (2-2).
Despite losing the partial advantage, Norrie once again broke his opponent’s serve in the fifth game in order to take the lead 3-2, plus, he showed his best tennis with spectacular shots, especially on two occasions when he got to the net to finish with straight forehands, leaving Nakashima astonished.
At the end there were moments of tension and nervousness when the Briton had a double break point for the tournament in the 40-15 of the 5-2, after a questionable shot from Nakashima to the baseline, which the judge called out. In that same game, the young Next Gen talent saved three more points, but he was unable to save another, and with that, Cameron Norrie became the champion of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021.
This is how an exciting week of tennis ended in Los Cabos, which will leave a mark on the two finalists’ careers, and for the event as well with the historic premiere of the new Cabo Sports Complex (CSC).
Norrie saw his talent, effort and dedication reflected in a title after he had several failed attempts in the past. This helped him obtain 250 points in the ATP ranking that will increase his number to his best position, starting Monday (No. 29). He also improved some personal achievements such as getting his 35th win of the season (he already defeated Novak Djokovic) and also took the $58,705 Prize Money.
Nakashima can leave the tournament feeling satisfied despite not being crowned, because he had the best week of his career: winning his first main draw matches at an ATP Tour level, debuted in a Final, he will also enter the Top 100 in the world, he will get to the Next Gen Finals and, above all, he sent a message that a young promise will star in the circuit.
The path was not easy for Norrie, since in order to win the “Pelota Huichol” during this week, he had to defeat Elias Ymer (SWE) in the Round of sixteen, Ernesto Escobedo (USA) in the Quarterfinals, Taylor Fritz (USA) in the Semifinals and Brandon Nakashima (USA) in the Final.
“Experience was the key to win”
Cameron Norrie raised the “Pelota Huichol” and looked at it with appreciation. The trophy awarded by the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 represents his first title at an ATP tour level, a moment that has been denied to him four times, three this year and one previously.
“I’m very happy. I couldn’t be more proud of myself, my team and how I handled the situation, I like how I get better with each game. I think my experience helped me today,” he said.
Already thinking about the following tournaments on his calendar, the brand-new Los Cabos champion was grateful to have the opportunity to play again on Mexican soil.
“My process is still the same, I think it’s a great motivation to win, it was always a personal goal to have my first title. I lost three finals this year, so I’m happy with my victory tonight and I’m going to enjoy it and then go back to work. I always like to play in Mexico,” he added.
The Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 exceeds all expectations
- The fifth edition premiered the new Cabo Sports Complex (CSC) venue
- The ATC Safety Program was successful
- On the sports side, Los Cabos will have a new champion
- The next edition will take place on August 1st through the 6th, 2022
After a week of high-level tennis and with an organization that is always looking for the highest quality standards, the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 comes to an end after successfully overcoming the challenges involved in hosting this ATP 250 tournament.
The director of the tournament, José Antonio Fernández, spoke about what it meant to hold this top-level sporting event in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur. This particular edition will be remembered for the challenges it lived, such as the premiere of the new venue, the Covid-19 pandemic, the absence of fans and direct competition with other tournaments around the world.
“It has been hours, months and two years of work by the entire staff with a new format in which we not only adapt to the pandemic with an event without an audience, but also to a new house to which we had to understand the new operation. This venue came to stay,” he said.
With the satisfaction that the comments have been very positive about the new venue, and with the firm conviction to continue working to finish detailing the venue, the Tournament Director explained the concept and the projection that Cabo Sports Complex (CSC) will have.
“We’ve had great feedback from players, media and the ATP about our new home. This year we used the Grandstand Caliente.mx as our stadium, but next year we will build a stadium with a capacity of 3,500 people and the entire commercial area with sponsors,” he explained.
“It is an incredible place surrounded by a great architecture, landscapes, lighting and all the detail that was created around this large venue that has given very positive results. It is a great satisfaction to finish the tournament and work in a wonderful place,” Fernández added.
On the sports side, the fifth edition of this tournament, held in Los Cabos, offered high-level tennis and great surprises during the competition, regardless that the event was at the same time as other important competitions.
“The players had four options to choose from: Olympic Games, Umag, Gstaad and Los Cabos. It was difficult to think of important players, but our list of players was very good because it mixed the youth, the experience and there were two former tournament champions. We saw good level of tennis and that always characterizes this tournament,” said the Tournament Director.
During the week emerged the possibility that Los Cabos will have a new champion between Cameron Norrie (GBR) and Brandon Nakashima (USA), for the tournament as for the ATP tour.
In another important news regarding the health emergency, the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 activated the ATC Safety Program in order to have the tournament in viable conditions following the various protocols established such as the use of facemasks, constant antibacterial gel application, sanitization of all areas, constant antigen testing and social distancing, among others.
“The event came at a complicated time because of the third outbreak of the pandemic that is not only in Mexico, but globally, so we strengthen the ATC Safety Program. We have done more than 4,000 antigen tests on all ATP employees, and staff, with practically no cases”.
José Antonio Fernández thanked the sponsors on the event, led by Mifel, for their support and trust, as well as the Government of Baja California Sur, the Ministry of Health and the local City Council for the realization of this contest that reached 79 countries around the five continents.
The Abierto de Tenis Mifel will continue with the intention of establishing itself as one of the best tournaments in the ATP 250 category for the next editions. Next year, the tournament will take place on August 1-6, 2022.
Isner and Hach-Verdugo raised the Doubles Trophy
The Mexican Hans Hach-Verdugo and the American John Isner defeated the American Hunter Reese and the Nerlandish Sem Verbeek 5-7, 6-2, 10/4 and won the doubles title of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 that took place this week in Los Cabos.
With this victory, Hach-Verdugo is now the second Mexican that has won the doubles tournament after Miguel Ángel Reyes Varela’s victory, who, together with Salvadoran Marcelo Arévalo, won the title back in 2018.
During the first match of the day in the sixth and final day of the tournament, which took place at the Cabo Sport Complex, Isner and Hach-Verdugo were very solid and firm when closing points in the super tiebreaker which, in the end, they won.
“I will not be able to sleep tonight from all this happiness with my first title, I am very excited that in the end, all the hours and training days has finally given me something back,” said Hach-Verdugo after the match.
Isner considered that “the partnership worked quite well because we are very good friends”.
The American said that they both get along well on the court, and during the week “neither of us pushed the other and I think our game complements each other very well. My serve is very good and Hans has fantastic returns, today he was the best player on the court”.
For Isner, 36 years old, this was his sixth doubles title in his career, while for the Mexican Hach-Verdugo, 31 years old, this is his first as a professional.. “The dream of Mexican fan is to see a Mexican in the final and win it, and Hans did it tonight,” said the Tournament Director, José Antonio Fernández, during the award ceremony.
The amazing Nakashima stands out in Los Cabos
With only 19 years of age, the American Brandon Nakashima has a chance that only a few players have achieved at that age: to compete in the ATP tournament’s Final. For this young player, it will be the first time as a professional and he will play it at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021.
Nakashima, current 134 in the world, will seek a way to win the title against the British Cameron Norrie, who is the first pre-classified in the tournament in Cabo Sports Complex (CSC).
The American’s week has been a dream and will try to close it with a happy ending raising the colorful “Pelota Huichol”, the trophy which is an authentic work of art in the ATP 250 of Los Cabos.
Nakashima forged his relationship with Mextenis, the tournament’s organizers at the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis in Acapulco, where he was eliminated by his compatriot Frances Tiafoe in the first round. However, fate had a good future waiting for him in the main draw of Los Cabos.
“Thank you for believing in Brandon when no one else believed in him, not even events in America. He will be grateful to you for many years,” this was the message that Nakashima’s team sent to the organizers of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 after getting his pass to the Final.
Getting to this final is a remarkable achievement for Nakashima’s career, as prior to this week, he had never won a Main Draw match at an ATP level.
In order to get to the final, Nakashima defeated his compatriots J. J. Wolf and Sam Querrey in the first and second rounds. Querrey himself, champion in Los Cabos in 2017, commented after his match that the Next Gen young promise has the potential to stay in the Top 100 of the world’s ranking for a long time.
Later in the quarterfinal round, Nakashima defeated the Australian Jordan Thompson, and, in the semifinal, he defeated the American John Isner, second-placed, giving the biggest surprise of the event.
Tonight’s Final will be one of the first big challenges on Nakashima’s career in professional tennis besides looking for his first ATP title, he is fighting for a spot on the ATP Next Gen Finals (11th in the race). Brandon Nakashima and Cameron Norrie will play in the Final of Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 no later than 8:00 pm in the second round of the Grandstand Caliente.mx.
Cameron Norrie and his dream season
The Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 could be the cherry on the top for Cameron Norrie’s best season. Tonight, the Briton will play the Mexican ATP 250 final at Cabo Sports Complex (CSC) against the American Brandon Nakashima, which means that he could get his first tour-level title.
The 25-year-old left-handed, number 30 in the ranking, arrived at Los Cabos with some outstanding statistics that placed him as one of the best players in the entire circuit. Today, he will play his fourth Final of the year and the fifth of his career.
With his arrival in the Final on the hard courts of Los Cabos, Norrie already managed to reach the main event in this season on three different surfaces such as Estoril (clay), Lyon (clay) and Queen’s (grass).
Cameron Norrie, who is the first pre-classified of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021, already has 34 victories, same victories as the Serbian, and number 1 in the world, Novak Djokovic. Both Cam’, and Nole’, are only below the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (40) and the Russian Andrey Rublev (36) in that category.
In addition, the Briton is also among the players with the most incredible matches of the entire ATP Tour this season, only a little below Novak Djokovic (5) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (5). In this section, Norrie’s numbers are the same as the Italian Matteo Berrettini (4).
“Obviously it is very good to reach my fourth Final (of the season). I think it would be nice to take a step further, but I am happy with the level I am playing. I’m very happy to move on to another Final, especially in Mexico because I love competing here, I enjoy playing near the beach and spend time here, so it’s great to do it in front of the Mexicans,” said the ATC 2021 finalist.
Cameron Norrie and Brandon Nakashima will play in the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 no later than 8:00 pm in the second round of the Grandstand Caliente.mx.
Norrie is on his way for his first ATP Title in Los Cabos
Cameron Norrie came to Los Cabos to remind us that he is living the best season of his career. In the first round of the Grandstand Caliente.mx, the Briton defeated Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour to get to the final of the in the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021.
The match foreshadowed an even match since both players arrived with three victories each, also, they arrived at the court as first and third seed, but this was not the case and Norrie had the control from beginning to end.
The 25-year-old left-hander, and current number 30 in the ATP, did not go easy from the start, as he quickly hit the American’s first serve in order to take the lead 3-0 after confirming his own serve.
Shortly after, the best point of the afternoon was when the score was 30-15 / 3-1 in a long rally of more than 20 strokes that Norrie won by striking a winning shot with a crossover backhand, which gave him confidence to continue adding up until closing the partial with a 6-3.
Fritz, who was a finalist at Los Cabos in 2019, tried not to let his guard down, but in the second set he had numerous unforced errors that Norrie took advantage of, he combined his serves correctly with three breaks in the set to close 6-1.
With this victory, Cameron Norrie will have the chance to win his first ATP title if he manages to defeat the young American Brandon Nakashima this Saturday. Nakashima got to the final round in Los Cabos after defeating John Isner.
The Final of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021 will be the fourth final that the Briton will play in 2021, he has reached the final in previous tournaments, for example, Estoril, Lyon and Queen’s. Norrie wants to be the champion for the first time in the Mexican ATP 250.
“I don’t have to do anything different (to win a Final); I’ve been close, but my rivals played better. Now I’m counting on that experience in order to be ready. I think I must have a great level to compete, but I also need to enjoy more and believe in myself to win that trophy,” said the first finalist of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel 2021.