DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Cameron Norrie’s year started off slowly, with four consecutive losses.
He seems to have found his stride.
Norrie won the third ATP Tour title of his career Sunday, with the No. 1 seed beating second-seeded Reilly Opelka 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4) in the Delray Beach Open. All three of those titles for Norrie have come in the last seven months, after he won at Los Cabos in July and then Indian Wells in October.
Norrie — who was only 2-5 in 2022 entering this tournament — also had to do it the hard way against the huge-hitting Opelka, who piled up 25 aces. Opelka had won 14 of his last 17 tiebreakers before Sunday, when Norrie managed to win two of them.
Norrie had played Delray on three other occasions, and each return has gone a bit better than the last. He dropped a first-round match in his initial appearance there in 2018, made the round of 16 in 2020, went to the semifinals last year and now is the Delray champion.
It was Opelka’s first loss in his last nine matches at Delray. He was the 2020 champion there.
Opelka was playing for a fourth consecutive day, after spending 7 hours, 23 minutes on the court in his three matches — all of them three-setters, six of those nine sets going to tiebreakers — leading up to the final.
Norrie had a much easier route to the final, needing only 5 hours, 3 minutes to win his three matches to get to Sunday. He also had an off day in there, not playing on Thursday.
The round of 16 for the bottom half of the draw — Opelka’s half — was Thursday, while for Norrie’s half it was on Wednesday. Quarterfinals for all players were Friday, with semifinals Saturday and then Sunday’s final.