Cameron Norrie reached the third round of the Citi Open after edging past Marcos Giron in a topsy-turvy contest. It was the American who started the quickest hitting powerful shots in all areas of the court to break for a 2-1 lead. Norrie wasn’t going to go down lightly though as he broke back for 3-3.
Eleven break points were created by both players in the opening set and it was clear that both players were still adapting to conditions. Especially Norrie who couldn’t win the key points on his serve and too many unforced errors handed the break advantage but the 7th seed did well to win a back as he broke to 15 in the next game. Eventually Norrie’ baseline consistency was too much as he would seal the crucial break and convert his third break point to take the opening set.
There was a similar pattern in the second set with both players sharing breaks at the start of the set. Then both players were able to bring their best tennis when it mattered on serve as Giron saved three break points to hold for 2-2. While Norrie took the advantage having saved two break points of his own.
Eventually though Norrie’s consistency and confidence would earn him the victory as he broke in the sixth game and never let the lead slip as he booked his place in the last 16. That makes it 12 wins in his last five tournaments as he builds more momentum towards the US Open.
Cameron Norrie  v Kei Nishikori H2H & Match Fundamentals
Although Nishikori still has some lingering injury issues the Japanese star has had turnaround in form in the second half of the season having reached the second week at Roland Garros and the quarter-finals at his home Olympics in Japan. Nishikori can use all the angles available to him on court with conditions in Washington suiting him as he can extend the rallies and turn defence into attack easily.
Norrie will need to produce good serving and returning numbers if he wants to pass this test. It will be a stern examination of his all-court game and consistency with Nishikori being the definition of consistency himself. Even though Nishikori is a former champion here, Norrie’s big play on pressure points may be the decisive factor in such a tight match.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
Brandon Nakashima [WC] def Dan Evans  7-6(1) 6-0
In other results, Dan Evans crashed out of the Citi Open with a straight sets defeat to Brandon Nakashima. In his first match since Wimbledon, Evans produced a good level in the opening set recovering from a break down to force a tiebreak in the opening set. However the in-form American was dominant from then on and took seven games in a row to seal a place in the last 16 where he faces Denis Kudla. As for Evans he now plays in Toronto next week.
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