Cameron Norrie, Casper Ruud advance to San Diego Open final

October 3, 2021 GMT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Cameron Norrie upset top-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday to advance to the final of the inaugural San Diego Open.

Norrie, the 26-year-old British player who won his first ATP Tour title this year in Acapulco, will face second-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway on Sunday.

Ruud, ranked No. 10 in the world, beat No. 29 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the other semifinal. Ruud eliminated former world No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray in straight sets Thursday night.

Rublev, ranked No. 5 in the world, claimed the first set with a scorching 117 mph ace before Norrie, ranked No. 28, rebounded to force a decisive third set to reach his fifth final of the year.

“It’s such a big win for me,” Norrie said. “It’s definitely a match that I’m going to remember for a long time.”

It was Norrie’s first career victory over Rublev. They last faced off in last year’s St. Petersburg Open, where Rublev swept Norrie.

“To beat someone like Andrey, who I respect and he’s one of my favorite players on the tour, its huge to me, and also to get revenge after he beat me easy last time,” Norrie said. “it’s nice to see that I improved a little bit and got him this time. Great match.”

Rublev had several outbursts in the second set, including throwing his racket and yelling at the officiating crew. He also appeared disturbed by the noise of planes taking off from nearby Lindbergh Field.

Rublev was making his eighth semifinal appearance this season. The Russian was coming off an impressive Olympic gold medal performance in mixed doubles with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and a win in the Laver Cup.

It was Norrie’s sixth semifinal this year, marking the most semifinal appearances in his career. He will be trying for his second ATP win of the season.

Ruud won his match when Dimitrov returned a shot into the net.

Having both semis go three sets “shows that it’s been a very tough tournament with good-level players and good-level matches.” Ruud said. “Today was I think the same. It was high-level from the first to the last point. Both matches put on a good show.”