Cameron Norrie’s clay court season is over after the Brit was thrashed by Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets. The Brit was sluggish from the very first ball as he lacked energy and quality, committing a whole host of unforced errors especially on the forehand. The same can’t be said for Musetti though who was aggressive and smart with his play, breaking in the second game as he took a 3-0 lead.
There was signs of life from Norrie in the next game as he produced some accurate serving to hold to love but ultimately that didn’t translate into consistency. Musetti continued to apply the pressure especially on the backhand as he opened up the court effectively to hit clean winners. Meanwhile the 14th seed continued to hit unforced errors as a double fault handed Musetti the double break lead with the Italian closing out the opening set 6-1 in 33 minutes.
Room for improvement was necessary for Norrie if he wanted to get back into this match and at the start of the second set, the Brit provided just that as he edged to a crucial service hold at the start of the set. As Norrie’s forehand started to find its mark, Musetti continued to execute ridiculous shot-making from all areas of the court and the Italian was rewarded for his mix of power and finesse by securing another break for a 3-2 lead.
More clumsy unforced errors on both forehand and backhand followed for Norrie as he had lost control of what looked to be a promising second set. The Italian turned defence into attack with ease as another break gave him the chance to serve for the second set. There was no problems for the Italian as he secured four games in a row to seal a two set lead with Norrie needing to leave the court in order to regain his composure.
That tactic didn’t seem to help the 14th seed to start the match as more unforced errors were produced from Norrie’s racket as Musetti broke to start the third set. Although the Italian continued to find confidence on serve after the opening break of the set, Norrie was starting to find his form and showed signs of more consistency as well a threat to the Italian on return.
There was evidence to back up this observation as Norrie burst into life in the sixth game producing some high quality returns which ended with the Brit smacking a forehand cross-court to seal the break back at 3-3. There was suddenly energy and confidence in the Brit’s game as he held off an immediate response from Musetti to take a 4-3 lead as well as gaining momentum in the third set.
The Brit started to hammer the forehands and gain consistency from the baseline as he caused Musetti problems on return, creating a couple of break points to threaten a 5-3 lead. However the Italian remained persistent as he produced some clutch serves to deny the Brit the lead as he levelled the set at 4-4. That would be the crucial blow to Norrie’s attempts at producing a comeback as the Brit was put under severe pressure for most of the next game.
Although Norrie denied the Italian for most of the game, Musetti was clinical and a stunnig forehand passing shot sealed the crucial break to give him the opportunity to serve for the match. The 17th seed took the opportunity with both hands as he comfortably closed out the win to seal his place in the second week of Roland Garros.
Norrie ‘disappointed’ with attitude after Roland Garros exit
It was a match to forget for Norrie who still hasn’t reached the second week at Roland Garros. Speaking after the defeat Norrie spoke about how disappointed he was with his attitude which has been a common theme throughout the season.
“I came out very flat, and, yeah, disappointed with the attitude in the first couple sets,” Norrie told The Guardian.
“I can play bad and everything, but I was just very flat and disappointed to have a performance like that. I mean, the first two sets he didn’t really do too much, and he was up two sets to love. For a player like myself, I can’t afford to give that much of an edge.”
Norrie also referred to his match last week in Lyon against Francisco Cerundolo and is aware that he will need to improve his attitude if he wants to gain better results throughout the season.
“It happened last week in Lyon and today, for the first kind of hour, I’d say, not where I needed to be,” Norrie further explained to The Telegraph.
“In the end, I was still not playing well, but I was having chances, just because my attitude and my energy changed. It’s something I have to look at, work on.”
Norrie will look to improve his game when he starts his grass court season in a couple of weeks time. The 14th seed will look to have a strong grass court season ahead of Wimbledon which starts on the 3rd of July where the Brit will look to defend his semi-final performance from last year.
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