Cameron Norrie boosted his chances of reaching the ATP Finals after cruising past Federico Delbonis in straight sets. It was a vintage Norrie performance where he dug deep to win some brutal rallies using a mixture of depth, pace and court placement to trouble the Argentinian.
After failing to convert three break points in the fourth game, Norrie soon got his rewards for a consistent start on serve as he broke in the sixth and eighth games to seal a hard-fought first set 6-2 in 38 minutes. The Brit only gained confidence from there as he proved to be too clinical as he converted both of his break points for a 4-0 lead.
Another vintage Norrie rally which involved some quick court coverage sealed victory on his first match point as he took another step closer towards a place in Turin.
Cameron Norrie  v Reilly Opelka H2H & Match Fundamentals
Opelka has had yet another consistent reaching his first Masters 1000 semi-final on clay no less in Rome. That was followed up by reaching the final in Toronto and a second week at the US Open, the American’s serve followed with surprisingly good athleticism and groundstrokes means there are very few weaknesses in his game.
Norrie’s return game will need to be at its very best to counter the big serve from Opelka. The American not only has pace but a variety of height makes it difficult for any player to return. The slower conditions make the Brit the slight favourite but with Opelka’s overall game more solid than other big servers, this will be a big test to see whether Norrie has the consistency and firepower to go deep in Paris.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
Dominik Koepfer [LL] def Andy Murray [WC] 6-4 5-7 7-6(9), Alexander Bublik def Dan Evans 2-6 7-5 7-5
While Norrie contemplates a second round meeting in Paris, Andy Murray and Dan Evans are out of the tournament after tough three set defeats to Dominik Koepfer and Alexander Bublik respectively.
Starting with Murray, he had a change in opponent after Jenson Brooksby withdrew due to injury giving Koepfer a late entry into the main draw. The German took full advantage as he was by far the better player for a set and three quarters blasting consistent shots past a flat-footed Murray. At 6-4 5-4, Koepfer couldn’t serve the match out allowing the Brit to return to his gritty best and steal the second set away from the German.
In the third set, Murray played with more authority and aggression being the player who was most likely to win. But as has been the case for much of the second half of the year, Murray couldn’t take his chances and seven match points came and went. On his first, a loose Murray shot gave the German a career-best victory sending him into the second round.
A similar story occurred for Evans, who after a terrific opening set, couldn’t take his chances when it really mattered as he was broken on three occasions in a tight match against the big-serving Kazakh. Both Evans and Murray are scheduled to play in Stockholm next week.
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