Cameron Norrie weathered a dramatic opener against Yoshihito Nishioka. Despite losing his serve in the first game of the match, we would be forgiven for thinking it was but a momentary blip in what turned out to be a dramatic opener. Norrie had to come from a break down to win six games on the spin to take the first set.
With an early break in the second set, it looked like he was in cruise control, but Nishioka pegged the Brit back, before nudging ahead in the penultimate game of the second set before closing out to level up.
Things looked very much against the Brit, as he swiftly fell 1-5 down but started to fight back finishing the match much in the way he had finished off the first set, reeling off six straight games.
Cameron Norrie v Grigor Dimitrov  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Preview: Cameron Norrie v Grigor Dimitrov  | H2H: First Meeting
Norrie has certainly got a fair few matches in his legs this season, with Grigor Dimitrov having struggled early in the season with a back spasm in the Australian Open quarter-final. However, both he and Norrie notched up quarter-final spots in Acapulco before heading to Miami.
Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)
Cameron Norrie (WR 56)
Grigor Dimitrov (WR 16)
Tournament Previous Best
R1 (2018, 2019)
R4 (2012, 2016)
1st Serve %
Service Games Won %
Break Points Saved %
2nd Serve Return Points Won %
Break Points Converted %
While their first serve percent stats are close, Dimitrov has been just a little more consistent overall in his service games and when it comes to getting himself out of trouble when facing break points. They are both pretty capable in pouncing on weaker second serves from their opponents.
Dimitrov’s ability to feel at home anywhere on the court will make this a real battle for Norrie. The Bulgarian generates a lot of power by just using his writs and elbow, and delivers deceptively heavy, deep forehands.
Of course, his single-handed backhand can be sent back with variety – top-spin, flat, slice – you name it. He backs all of that up with a pretty capable serve, but Norrie has been serving pretty consistently this year, and has certainly looked a lot more at home with darting around the court, or even charging forward to the net.
It would be a great achievement for Norrie to start fast and perhaps cheekily nab a set from under Dimitrov’s nose, and it will be good to see if he can pit himself well again some of the best and the most consistent on the tour.
Prediction: Dimitrov in three sets.
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