Cameron Norrie in the R16 at the 2021 ATP Acapulco, Mexico
Cameron Norrie in the R16 at the 2021 ATP Acapulco, Mexico | (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP) (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images)

Tennis | ATP Barcelona 2021 | Norrie opens clay court season with a victory, faces Khachanov in round two

  • Cameron Norrie def. Salvatore Caruso 6-1, 6-2
  • Norrie v Karen Khachanov [12] | Khachanov leads H2H 1-0
BARCELONA, SPAIN – Cameron Norrie produced a clay court masterclass to set up a meeting with Karen Khachanov.


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Cameron Norrie def. Salvatore Caruso 6-1, 6-2

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Cameron Norrie kicked off his 2021 clay court season in emphatic style, dominating Salvatore Caruso for the loss of just three games. The British no. 2 improves his record to 12-8 on the year.

Competing for the first time since the Miami Open, the 25-year-old looked extremely fresh as a relatively lengthy layoff seemed to be paying dividends. Norrie struck the ball cleanly and did not give his Italian opponent an inch as he stormed to a one set lead.

The second set displayed more of the same as the Brit made light work of his first match on the dirt this season. A healthy first serve percentage of 80 and an impressive 89% of second serve points won helped Norrie secure the victory in little under an hour.


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Cameron Norrie v Karen Khachanov [12] H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Cameron Norrie v Karen Khachanov [12] H2H: Khachanov leads 2-0 
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Norrie will face Karen Khachanov for the second time this season as the pair will battle it out for a spot in the last sixteen.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)

H2H: Cameron Norrie (WR: 58) Karen Khachanov [12] (WR: 23)
Tournament Previous Best Round of 64 (2019) Quarter-finals (2017)
1st Serve % 66 63
Service Games Won % 77 86
Break Points Saved % 57 70
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 53 51
Break Points Converted % 42 36

Playing Styles

Although he may not be in the best of form recently, the Russian still possesses one of the most explosive games on the tour – which could set alight at any time. Khachanov has a huge serve and forehand, and often uses this combination to win the majority of his points.

The 24-year-old has a tendency to force his offence too much at times and can get frustrated when things don’t go his way. The World no. 22 does have some clay court pedigree though, in 2019 he made the Roland Garros quarter-finals – his first and only Grand Slam last eight appearance to date – where he lost to the eventual finalist, Dominic Thiem.

Norrie certainly has his work cut out, but if there is any surface that he would be successful against of player of Khachanov’s calibre, it’s clay. The Brit will need to be patient and minimise his unforced error total as the Russian could offer him a tonne of free points. We already know that Norrie has the mental capacity to pull this off, it’s just a case of managing his game in the best way.


The British No. 2 stunned everybody with the quality of his performance in round one. Khachanov has failed to win back-to-back matches in his last four tournaments, although the last time he did involved a routine 6-2, 6-2 victory against Norrie in Rotterdam. This match has the potential to go either way, but the Russian still goes into it as the favourite.

Prediction: Khachanov in three sets.


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