Cameron Norrie in the second round of Roland Garros 20023, Paris, France
Cameron Norrie in the second round of Roland Garros 20023, Paris, France | (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Tennis | Roland Garros 2023 | Norrie thrashes Pouille to set third round showdown with Musetti

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Cameron Norrie [14] def Lucas Pouille [Q] 6-1 6-3 6-3
  • Norrie v Lorenzo Musetti [17] | H2H: Musetti leads 1-0
PARIS, FRANCE – Cameron Norrie thrashed qualifier Lucas Pouille to set up a third round meeting with 17th seed Lorenzo Musetti at Roland Garros.


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Cameron Norrie [14] def Lucas Pouille [Q] 6-1 6-3 6-3

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Cameron Norrie is into the third round of Roland Garros after only dropping seven games against Lucas Pouille in front of a lively Suzanne-Lenglen crowd. Norrie was introduced to the loud Parisian the moment he stepped onto court as he was booed when making his entrance with the crowd clearly not forgetting the match with Benoit Paire in the previous round.

However, Norrie was unfazed by the reaction as he made a confident start to the contest as he took advantage of a tense start from the Frenchman. The 14th seed produced forehand winners and consistent hitting from the baseline to set up break point in the second game, which resulted in a Pouille double fault to give Norrie a 2-0 lead.

It was a nervy start from Pouille and the passive play from the French qualifier allowed Norrie to continue the momentum as he broke for a second time and would take an eventual 5-0 lead. The Frenchman had something to build on towards the end of the set after securing an important hold to the delight of the crowd. That hold of serve didn’t change Norrie’s focus as he sealed the opening set in a rapid 24 minutes.

The confidence from Norrie continued to shine as he remained aggressive and proactive, breaking at the start of the second set with Pouille lacking that spark and energy to really implement his game. An expectant Suzanne-Lenglen continued to support Pouille as he reacted to the crowd with a much better return game, creating four break points with some consistent shot-making as well as moving into the court.

Norrie remained resilient though as he saved the four break points to hold for 2-0 but the Frenchman wasn’t to be denied for long. This is as Pouille’s backhand found it’s range in the next return game and some smarter all-court play allowed the Frenchman to break back as he levelled the second set at 2-2. There was more passion and energy from Pouille as a big hold in the next game saw him energise the Parisian crowd, taking a 3-2 lead and the momentum.

A big turning point in the match was the next two games which saw Norrie once again under pressure on serve. Once again though Norrie came up with some effective patterns of play on serve to hold off the threat from Pouille before sealing a crucial break of serve to take a 4-3 lead. The Brit’s return to a more aggressive style of tennis mixed with some variety was rewarded as he stormed to the next two games therefore taking a two set lead and control of the match.

In the third set there was a more consistent start for Pouille, who didn’t get broken at the start of the set this time as he held his own as Norrie took a 2-1 lead on serve. Then the most controversial moment in the match occurred as at a crucial moment in the fourth game, Pouille though there was a double bounce when Norrie retrieved a clever shot from the Frenchman. The replay showed it was a clear double bounce but it was never called from the umpire and the Brit went onto to break for a 3-1 lead.

As Pouille remained frustrated, Norrie remained composed as he continued to produce unforced errors from Norrie’s racket as the Brit broke again to take a 5-1 lead. The Brit was seemingly closing out the win but there was a mini-comeback from the Frenchman as Norrie was more passive in the closing stages of the match.

Pouille earned one of the breaks back and almost produced a stunning comeback as he pushed Norrie all the way when the Brit served for the match for a second time. However Norrie produced some clutch serves and closed out the win to seal his place in the third round at Roland Garros for the third time in his career.

After the match Norrie said that he feels good about his game and is happy with his improvement from the first round.

“I feel good. There have been ups and downs recently, but I have a great team around me,” Norrie told The Guardian.

“We really want to play well at the grand slams. I definitely improved my game and performance from the first round and enjoyed the match more.”


Cameron Norrie [14] v Lorenzo Musetti [17] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Cameron Norrie [14] v Lorenzo Musetti [17] H2H: Musetti leads 1-0
Roland Garros 2023 Paris, France
Clay (O) Prize Money: €142,000
Third on Court Simonne-Mathieu, not before 2:30pm (1:30pm BST) Discovery+ Add-on via Amazon Prime      Sign up for 30 day free trial of Prime Video and a 7 day free trial of Discovery+ Player

Norrie will look to reach the second week in Paris for the first time when he takes on 17th seed Lorenzo Musetti, who won their only meeting a few weeks ago in Barcelona.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

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H2H: Cameron Norrie (WR 13) Lorenzo Musetti (WR 18)
Tournament Previous Best R3 (2021, 2022) R4 (2021)
1st Serve % 64.9 63.4
Service Games Won % 79.8 75.9
Break Points Saved % 60.7 55.8
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 53.9 54
Break Points Converted % 40.4 45.6

Norrie will need to serve well on the big points given Musetti’s break point efficiency this season.



Playing Styles and Prediction

After a poor start to the season, Musetti has clicked into form over the clay court season boasting wins over Novak Djokovic and Frances Tiafoe. The Italian will look to continue his ruthless form as he looks to match his best ever result at Roland Garros and continue to elevate his ranking with a place in the world’s top 15 in his sights.

Norrie will look to be aggressive as possible and dictate the tempo of the match on his serve with his first serve percentage being crucial to winning the match. Meanwhile Musetti will look to use his backhand to test Norrie’s defensive shot-making as well continuing his efficiency and quality on break points. If the Brit can play as well as he did against Pouille then this is a winnable match for him but Musetti’s current form suggests this could be a tough afternoon at the office for the Brit.

Prediction: Musetti in four sets.



How to Watch/Follow Roland Garros 2023

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