Cameron Norrie advances to Lyon Open semifinals; Jack Draper is eliminated

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At the clay-court Lyon Open, British No. 1 Cameron Norrie made it to his third straight semifinal, but fellow countryman Jack Draper was eliminated.

After losing focus in the middle of the set, defending champion Norrie recovered to defeat sixth seed Sebastian Baez 6-2 2-6 6-1. The 27-year-old will now take on fourth-seeded Argentine Francisco Cerundolo, who defeated Draper 4-6 6-4 6-3 after rallying from a set and a breakdown.

With a somewhat smaller British presence playing at the Grand Slam, Norrie’s success in Lyon is encouraging for British hopefuls on clay before the French Open begins on Sunday.

After reaching the final in 2021 and winning the championship the following year, Norrie has won 13 games in a row in Lyon. After early exits on clay in the previous weeks in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid, as well as a testy matchup with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in a loss at the Italian Open last week, Norrie’s continued success at the venue serves as a welcome confidence booster.

In the men’s singles main draw at Roland Garros, Norrie is joined by Dan Evans and Michael Draper. In the draw on Thursday, the trio learned who they would face in the opening round.

Norrie is going head to head with Benoit Paire of France, Evans would face Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia, and Draper will play off against Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

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