May 23, 2021
Lyon winner Stefanos Tsitsipas says his biggest achievement of the week was beating Cameron Norrie in the final.
That is a tremendous compliment to the in-form Brit, who has enjoyed a breakthrough year.
Wimbledon 2021 crowds know they have another hero to cheer in Norrie.
To beat the great Dominic Thiem on clay with such ease had the entire tennis world talking a few days ago.
Norrie won that round of 16 match 6-3, 6-2. The margin of victory was so emphatic that Thiem admitted his confidence was severely dented.
Cameron outclassed another quality customer in Karen Khachanov by a resounding 6-1, 6-1 in the semi-final.
But Tsitsipas was in supreme form in the showpiece in Central France as he powered to his seventh title.
And Norrie’s five double faults came at crucial times to give the Greek the chance to close out 6-3, 6-3.
In contrast Tsitsipas won 82 per cent of points behind his first serve and seized on three of his six break points.
It was typically kind of Tsitsipas to acknowledge Norrie’s extraordinary tournament, though.
Stefanos said: ‘I’m proud of today’s match. I knew it would be a difficult one against Cameron who has had a great week and been winning against very good players, showing how it’s done with a left had on clay.’
Beating Thiem suggests that Norrie’s masterful left hand should take him deep at Wimbledon 2021 too.
For now, however, Tsitsipas and the Brit will focus on Roland Garros before the biggest Slam of all on grass.
The lion of Lyon added: ‘Now I’ll get to Paris as early as possible and get ready for the big Slam on clay.’
Before we know it, Wimbledon will be upon us.
And Tsiptsipas will be desperate for a big fortnight at the All England Club.
Last time out Stefanos lost in the first round at Wimbledon. But that was two years ago and much has changed.
Now he is mentally stronger and physically stronger. His game is more complete.
Can Tsitsipas make his mark at Wimbledon 2021 and thrill London’s huge Greek community?
Of course he can. Stef is even a contender to win it.
And British spectators will give him a warm welcome too. Particularly after his glowing praise for the improving Cameron Norrie.