At the beginning of the week, the concern was whether Cameron Norriecould reproduce solid and effective tennis over the course of back-to-back weeks and he passed the test in what was a surprisingly comfortable outing against former World No. 12 Feliciano Lopez.
Lopez never really got going in this match-up. The Spaniard likes to mix his tactics, sometimes choosing to trade from the baseline, but he plays his best tennis when he is moving forward, transitioning from the baseline and putting the finishing volleys away at the net. Norrie got off to a quick start, winning the first three games of the contest and he already was getting a lot of joy from attacking Lopez’s one-handed backhand at the beginning of each rally.
It was a troublesome first three games for the Spaniard, but once his game-plan started to go wrong he did not make any real adjustments and lost all the feel in his backhand side as the British No.2 charged towards the first set.
The second set followed a very different pattern as Lopez improved his level off the ground and became more of a threat in both the short and long exchanges, which gave Norrie that little bit of doubt in how the match was going to finish. The great thing for Norrie was that Lopez had never truly got into much of a service rhythm and that is one of Lopez’s biggest weapons. The Spaniard’s first serve percentage was low by his standards and when he does not have the big serve, a huge part of his game goes missing.
Norrie took a huge break in the seventh game of the 2nd set and the last few games was really the Brit at his competitive best. Norrie hustled his way from the back of the court, getting that extra ball into the court and making Lopez play three or four more volleys than he wanted to as he grew increasingly frustrated that nothing was falling his way. The British No.2 competed his way to another break as he converted his second match point to progress to the quarter-finals.
Cameron Norrie vs Adrian Mannarino  H2H: First meeting
Norrie will now go on to face another left-hander, his third in a row as he tackles France’s Adrian Mannarino for a place in the Los Cabos semi-finals. Mannarino may be a dangerous left-handed player, but he plies his trade very differently to Lopez.
Mannarino relies purely on his ball redirection, accuracy and being able to create those beautiful angles that not that many players really can pull off, but he can do it easily due to the technique he has on his forehand side and the clever and delicate hitting he has with his ball-strike.
For Norrie to get the win, he has to really establish a strong court position on the baseline and refuse to yield. Mannarino may not always be able to hurt Norrie with blistering power, but he can use so many different kinds of difficult shots to earn his points, so Norrie has to play the match on his terms and try to overwhelm the creative Frenchman.
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