LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 16: Cameron Norrie of Great Britain celebrates match point during his Round of 16 match against Aslan Karatsev of Russia during Day 3 of The cinch Championships at The Queen's Club on June 16, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images for LTA)
Tennis | ATP Indian Wells 2021 | Norrie outlasts Bautista Agut to reach last 16 at Indian Wells, Tommy Paul awaits
Cameron Norrie outlasted 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in two hours and 45 minutes to reach the last 16 at Indian Wells. The early stages of the match were dominated by the returner with both plays breaking twice each in the first five games with Bautista Agut’s opening service hold edging the Spaniard ahead. Norrie was forced to save two break points with some aggressive serving as it was the Spaniard who was winning the majority of the long exchanges in the opening set.
Despite facing a flurry of break points in the opening set, it was Norrie who dealt the crucial break as a backhand into the net from the 15th seed sealed a 5-4 lead. The British number two once again faced break point in the tenth game but an ace prevented Bautista Agut from breaking back with Norrie converting his first set point to close out the opening set.
In the second set both players once again exchanged early breaks of serve however unlike the first set it was the Spaniard who was under the most pressure in the middle part of the set. However the Spaniard’s endurance and consistent hitting earned him four set points in his last two return games as Norrie once again was forced to protect his serve in big moments. Although Norrie produced his biggest serves and aces on three of those break points, the Brit couldn’t place a cross-court backhand into the service box and as a result sealed the second set for the gritty Spaniard.
However Norrie made amends in the third set as he produced his best tennis in the biggest moments breaking the Spaniard in the opening game. The Brit hit 12 aces in the match and most of those came on big points as Norrie was forced to save two break points in the sixth game with more big serving. That was the only opportunities that Bautista Agut managed to create as Norrie broke once again in the ninth game to seal victory and a place in the fourth round.
Cameron Norrie  v Tommy Paul H2H & Match Fundamentals
Paul has for so long been a guy with lots of potential but no real end product to match it. However a big win against Rublev could be the win he needs to ensure that his career takes off and gives him confidence for consistent results in the future.
Tactically Norrie will have to neutralise the American’s consistent power and will need to use the court intelligently with Paul looking to switch up the angles. Should the Brit be able to maintain his consistent level than a Masters 1000 quarter-final could be on the cards, but the American will ensure that Norrie will have to be at his best in order to achieve this.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
Diego Schwartzman  def Dan Evans  5-7 6-4 6-0
As Norrie contemplates the last 16 in California, Dan Evans crashed out to 11th seed Diego Schwartzman in a rollercoaster match-up. After going down an early break, Evans reeled off seven games in a row from 2-5 to take the first 7-5 and take an early break lead in the second set.
Evans’s slices and variety was causing Schwartzman trouble as the match was seemingly in Evans’ grasp. But from 4-2 up the match swung in the Argentinian’s favour with his level increasing and the Brit’s dramatically decreasing. A run of 10 games in a row sealed an astonishing victory and a loss for Evans to contemplate ahead of the rest of the season.
Evans’ next scheduled tournament is in Vienna which begins on 25 October.
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