Cameron Norrie fell to Borna Coric in straight sets in their semi-final match in Cincinnati, ending his run in the masters tournament.
The Briton was defeated 6-3 6-4 by the Croatian, who will play Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final after he knocked out world No 1 Daniil Medvedev.
Norrie had beaten Spanish third seed Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (4) 6-7 (4) 6-4 to set up a last-four showdown with Coric.
The 26-year-old admitted he lost focus before battling his way back from the brink of defeat to book the semi-final.
Norrie told the ATP Tour’s official website: “That was unbelievable. Credit to Carlos. I was up a set and a break, 4-1, and I kind of lost a little bit of vision.”
Coric reached his second ATP Masters 1000 final – and first since undergoing shoulder surgery last year – with a commanding performance vs Norrie, who offered little resistance against his opponent’s heavy hitting from the baseline.
Ninth seed Norrie started brightly and raced into a 3-1 lead before Coric found his groove to win five straight games and secure the opening set.
“It was a very tough day, a very long day as well,” said Coric after both men’s semi-finals were delayed due to rain.
Image: Coric reached his second ATP Masters 1000 final – and first since undergoing shoulder surgery last year – with a commanding display
“At the beginning I was not there, I was not feeling the ball very well. Then I did find my rhythm. I started to serve better, I started to play much better and I think that was the key to the match.”
Coric, who struck 22 winners in all, kept up the momentum in the second set, clinching eight straight points to take a 4-2 lead before closing out the match to set up a third career meeting with Tsitsipas.
Fourth seed Tsitsipas edged Medvedev 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3 in an absorbing semi-final to set up a summit clash with Coric.
Tsitsipas saved a set point in the opening tie-break to take the lead but collapsed in stunning fashion in the second set, falling behind 5-0 before narrowly avoiding a bagel.
But the Greek, who had just two wins in nine matches against Medvedev coming into the encounter, raised his game in the decider and broke the US Open champion at 3-2 before comfortably serving out the match with some exquisite net play.
Image: In the other semi-final, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece beat world No 1 Daniil Medvedev
“I felt like the ball wasn’t really flying off his racquet,” Tsitsipas, who later withdrew from the doubles semi-finals alongside Holger Rune, told reporters.
“I felt like he was trying too hard, and that’s when I knew that I pushed him there, and it was something that I did over many consecutive rallies, a lot of physical effort. I knew that was my opportunity to go and strike.”
Sunday will be Tsitsipas’ first final appearance in Cincinnati and his fifth overall in 2022.
“I’m prepared for it,” said the former Roland Garros finalist. “I know it’s not an easy task playing against him. You know, he’s coming back from an injury, he’s playing great tennis, and he’s going to work very hard for it.”
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