Cameron Norrie in the second round of the 2022 US Open, New York
Cameron Norrie in the second round of the 2022 US Open, New York | (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Tennis | ATP Auckland 2024 | Norrie overcomes Van Assche blip to set Tabilo quarter-final

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Cameron Norrie [2] def Luca Van Assche [Q] 6-3 6-7(6) 6-1
  • Norrie v Alejandro Tabilo [Q] | H2H: First Meeting
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Cameron Norrie set up a quarter-final with Alejandro Tabilo after overcoming a second set blip against Luca Van Assche in Auckland.

 

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Cameron Norrie [2] def Luca Van Assche [Q] 6-3 6-7(6) 6-1

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Cameron Norrie is into the quarter-finals in Auckland after a three set victory against French qualifier Luca Van Assche. This was a tricky test for Norrie as Van Assche displayed his explosive power early on in the match, dictating play with his forehand. However the second seed and last year’s finalist remained unfazed as he showed aggression from his forehand to edge ahead in the early part of the set.

Eventually Norrie’s mixture of depth and pace would pay off as he broke in the sixth game as his forehand did damage to Van Assche’s defensive skills with the Brit taking a 4-2 lead. The Brit increased his level of aggression as he consolidate the break with some big serving as all the pressure was on the Frenchman.

However Van Assche gradually worked his way into the match with Norrie producing easy unforced errors from the backhand side. This resulted in Van Assche having 0-30 on Norrie’s serve just when the second seed was serving for the opening set. However the world number 19 was resilient and closed out the opening set by winning four consecutive points.

A key theme of the second set was that Norrie was producing cheap errors as his level of consistency dropped which allowed Van Assche to gain confidence. The errors mainly came on return which allowed the Frenchman to be more aggressive on serve as Van Assche edged in front throughout the second set.

Despite the errors, Norrie kept holding serve as he produced his best level when under pressure. Evidence of this was in the twelfth game when the British number one was forced to save two set points and held with some powerful forehands. This saw the second set go to a tiebreak, which lead to having Norrie having match point at 6-5. However Norrie hit a loose forehand unforced error which allowed Van Assche to crush his backhands and the Frenchman edged out the tiebreak 8-6, finish off with a backhand cross-court winner.

If there weren’t danger signs already then Norrie getting broken at the start of the third set was proof that an upset was on the cards as the Brit produced some rash decision making. In the end, Norrie’s character and resolve is what won him the match as he hit effective first serves and found rhythm on his forehand. The Brit won six games in a row as he sealed a place into the quarter-finals in Auckland for the third time in his career.

 

Cameron Norrie [2] v Alejandro Tabilo [Q]  | H2H & Match Fundamentals

Cameron Norrie [2] v Alejandro Tabilo [Q] H2H: First Meeting    
ATP Auckland 2024 Auckland, New Zealand 
Hard (O) Prize Money: $19,995
Third on Centre Court (02:00 GMT) Sky/Now TV <- Subscription Required

Norrie will face another qualifier in the form of Chilean Alejandro Tabilo as the Brit looks to make another semi-final in New Zealand.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

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H2H: Cameron Norrie (WR 19) Alejandro Tabilo (WR 82)
Tournament Previous Best Final (2019, 2023) N/A
1st Serve % 65 59.9
Service Games Won % 79.7 77.2
Break Points Saved % 63.4 60.6
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 51.6 50.2
Break Points Converted % 40.4 40

Norrie will look to find his range on return early on against a player who is clutch on the pressure points.

 

 

Playing Styles and Prediction

Tabilo is in good form having won a couple of Challenger titles towards the end of last season including one on hard courts in Brazil. The Chilean has power on both forehand and backhand with there being no real weaknesses to his game. Tabilo will be hoping he can continue his rise within the world’s top 100 in 2024.

Norrie will need to continue to be aggressive on the forehand and will look to cut out the unforced errors on return otherwise he could have a similar setback to the one he had against Van Assche. Tabilo will look to frustrate the Brit with his power on the forehand side and will look to be consistent on the backhand. This will be a tough test against a confident opponent who has nothing to lose but Norrie should have enough quality to get through this match.

Prediction: Norrie in three sets.  

 

 

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