As we said in our previous preview, you never really know which Fabio Fognini you will get, and it was a more troubled Italian who needed a medical time-out, anti-inflammatories and his blood pressure taken in a straight-sets win for the British No. 2 Cameron Norrie.
The start of set seemed competitive enough with not a sniff of a break point for either player, until Norrie made the first breakthrough, breaking the Italian to love. This seemed to stir something inside Fognini who had a chance to break straight back, but couldn’t make anything of it, and in the end took advantage of an edgy Norrie to break the Brit as he was serving for the first set.
Norrie’s response was to put paid to all this nonsense with a straight break back to take the lead. There were a couple of gruelling games in the middle of the second set, where both toiled but neither were able to take their chances. Norrie’s aggressive play was rewarded after this two-game grind with a break and from that point he kept hold of that advantage to score a handy win over Fognini for the first time.
Norrie v Dominik Koepfer H2H & Match Fundamentals
Cameron Norrie v Dominik Koepfer
H2H: 1-1 (Futures/Challenger)
Prize Money: $31,880
Second on Grandstand Caliente.Mx, not before 6:00pm
Preview: Cameron Norrie v Dominik Koepfer | H2H: 1-1
Up next in the quarter-final is Germany’s Dominik Koepfer, who routed Milos Raonic to earn himself a spot in his first quarter-final of the season. A lot of things have been firing well for the German and he held himself well with his serving, which has not always been his strong point, but he has been serving well this week.
Key areas for Norrie will be to drill into returning Koepfer’s serve. Norrie edges ahead of all the key stats for this year, which makes this a keen match-up.
In a battle of the lefties, Norrie will be dealing with very heavy forehands from the German, and a pretty flat backhand which has suited Koepfer in his favoured surface of clay, but having said that, he has earned his spot in this quarter-final, so Norrie cannot under=estimate the German’s game.
It has been a while since they have faced each other, but on the whole Norrie has been the more consistent, even allowing for Koepfer’s breakthrough in 2019 where he knuckled down, got fitter, got some help to tame his temper and deal with the mental side of the game and hit the gym with a vengeance.
Norrie, however, has the experience now over several years and more importantly at this stage, the consistency week in, week out at a tour level.
Norrie had a landmark win even if Fognini seemed at times a little below par, so it is vital that he does not suffer from that lag that can sometimes follow a first-time victory. Koepfer will make the Brit earn this win and it would be no surprise to see this go the distance.
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