Cameron Norrie fell to Borna Coric in straight sets in their semifinal match in Cincinnati, ending his run at the Masters.
The Briton was defeated 6-3, 6-4 by the Croatian, who will play him in the final against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, after knocking out world number 1 Daniil Medvedev.
Norrie beat Spanish third seed Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (4) 6-7 (4) 6-4 to set up a last-four clash with Coric.
The 26-year-old admitted he lost focus before coming back from the brink of defeat to book the semi-final.
Norrie told the official ATP Tour website: “It was unbelievable. Credit to Carlos. I had a set and a break, 4-1, and I kind of lost my vision a little bit.”
Coric reached his second ATP Masters 1000 final – and first since undergoing shoulder surgery last year – with a commanding performance against Norrie, who held little against his opponent’s heavy baseline hitting .
Ninth seed Norrie started brightly and raced to a 3-1 lead before Coric found his rhythm to win five straight games and secure the first set.
“It was a very hard day, and a very long day,” Coric said after both men’s semifinals were postponed due to rain.
“At first I wasn’t there, I didn’t feel the ball very well. That’s when I found my rhythm. I started serving better, I started playing a lot better and I think that was the key to the match.”
Coric, who hit 22 winners in total, kept the momentum going in the second set, winning 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 eased past 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, trailing 5-0 before narrowly avoiding a bagel.
But the Greek, who had just two wins in nine matches against Medvedev, raised his game in the decider and broke the US Open champion at 3-2 before comfortably serving out the match with exquisite net play.
“I felt the ball wasn’t really flying off his racket,” Tsitsipas, who later withdrew from the doubles semifinals with Holger Rune, told reporters.
“I felt he was trying too hard and that’s when I knew I pushed him there and it was something we did in a lot of back-to-back rallies, a lot of physical effort. I knew this was my opportunity to go hit.”
Sunday will be Tsitsipas’ first finals appearance in Cincinnati and his fifth overall in 2022.
“I’m ready for it,” said the former Roland Garros finalist. “I know it’s not an easy task to play against him. You know, he’s coming back from an injury, he’s playing great tennis and he’s going to work really hard for it.”
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