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 Toronto 2021 | Norrie falls to Nishikori in Washington, faces Khachanov test in Toronto
Cameron Norrie v Karen Khachanov | H2H: Norrie leads 2-1
TORONTO, CANADA – Cameron Norrie fell to Kei Nishikori in three sets in the third round in Washington and looks to recover in Canada, where he will face Karen Khachanov.
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Kei Nishikori def Cameron Norrie  3-6 6-3 6-3
It wasn’t to be for Cameron Norrieas he fell to Kei Nishikori in three sets in the last 16 at the Citi Open in Washington. After trailing by a break in the opening set, Norrie came back in style as he broke twice in two consecutive return games capitalising on some conservative Nishikori play.
The Brit saved two break points in the seventh game with some aggressive play and held his nerve to take the opening set. However Nishikori raised his level in the next two sets and the Japanese player created and converted the only break point of the second set in the eighth game to level the match at one set all.
In the final set it was about which player could hold their serve the most with their being six breaks of serve. It was a crucial hold from the former champion in the sixth game that sealed the crucial blow as Norrie was unable to hold back the Nishikori wave of deadly counter-attack striking. In the end Nishikori sealed a fourth break of serve in the set to seal a place in the third round.
The Russian has the edge on pressure points on serve and holding his service games when it matters. But it’s Norrie who has the edge when it comes to being clinical on return. That consistency could be crucial when it comes to facing a streaky player like Khachanov.
The Russian’s confidence was at a low heading into Wimbledon and then he manages to reach a quarter-final at SW19 where he pushed Denis Shapovalov to his limits. That was followed by winning the Silver medal at the Olympics where he lost to Alexander Zverev in the final. When Khachanov has confidence then he is a very dangerous player to play against and that is something that Norrie will have to be aware of heading into this match.
Norrie’s counter-attacking abilities and impressive consistency sees this as a tough match-up for the Russian. However Khachanov is in impressive form and that Olympic medal might elevate his confidence. Norrie will need to serve well to match his opponent’s high level of tennis. This match could go down to the wire but Khachanov’s record in Canada means that he heads into this match as slight favourite.
Prediction: Khachanov in three sets.
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