Qualifier Lorenzo Sonego’s dream run at the Monte Carlo Masters continued, as he stunned Cameron Norrie in straight sets to book a spot in his first ever Masters quarter-final. Very adept on clay, as opposed to comparative novice on the dirt, Sonego took charge immediately, coming out flying and breaking Norrie twice in succession.
Certainly at the start of the match, he was burning the Brit a lot with drop-shots and the occasional lob in combination to leave Norrie scrambling back and forth but Norrie started to warm up in to the match, fending off two more chances for Sonego to break, before bringing up his first chance to get one of the breaks back.
Unable to convert, he at least put up sterling enough resistance to make Sonego battle to take the lead on his fourth set point.
By the second set Norrie was able to get a far better read of the Sonego drop shot, but by then the Italian had gone ahead once more with an early break. However, serving out for the set for the first time, it all seemed to go wrong for the Italian, as Norrie threaded the needle with far more weightier, bolder shots. Where he was making no headway in the longer rallies, he was beginning to turn the tide, getting to 5-5.
It was the briefest of respites, judging from the roar and the reaction as Sonego broke to come within a game of a spot in the quarter-finals. Serving out to love, the Italian became the first qualifier to reach the quarter-finals, since Fred Gil of Portugal in 2011.
Norrie is scheduled to play in ATP Barcelona, which takes place between 22-28 April.
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