British No. 2 Cameron Norrie takes on Salvatore Caruso as he makes his return to the tour since reaching the third round in Miami. It has actually been a bright start for the Brit, who has overtaken the injured Kyle Edmund, who recently had a small procedure on his left knee and looks set not to miss several more months of the season.
Meanwhile Norrie has made consistent progress this year, reaching the semi-finals in Delray Beach and the quarter-finals in Acapulco already this season.
Clay is not a surface you would necessarily associate as a strong one for Norrie, but after he surprised Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut on his Davis Cup debut on the dirt, he had found some consistency on the surface that year (2018) but since then it has been a bit of a battle.
Caruso will be coming in with qualifying and a main draw win in Monte Carlo, which potentially puts Norrie at a bit of a disadvantage.
Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)
Cameron Norrie (WR 58)
Salvatore Caruso (WR 81)
Tournament Previous Best
1st Serve %
60 (Clay 66)
Service Games Won %
75 (Clay 72)
Break Points Saved %
57 (Clay 48)
2nd Serve Return Points Won %
51 (Clay 48)
Break Points Converted %
38 (Clay 30)
Norrie has been a little more consistent over the year, but it is worth noting his stats do not include clay, but overall just has the edge over Caruso. What will be key is how quickly he adapts to the surface, given Caruso already has a tournament under his belt.
Norrie’s consistency has seen him deservedly move up to be the British No. 2 but on arguably his weakest surface, he will need to keep up some of the great improvements we have seen in his game. His movement is notably sharp, and he has been charging the net with great effect this season.
He is up against a clay-courter who is also not averse to coming forward so this could be quite an intriguing tussle with both players being solid off the ground, and both covering the court well.
Norrie’s experience should get him through but expect a little clay rust and a drawn out match going the distance.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
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