Cameron Norrie is into his first grand slam quarter-final after a controlled performance to defeat Tommy Paul in straight sets. Norrie for the majority of the match was the more clinical player as he went to work creating the angles early with some powerful forehands. Norrie’s return game was in full-flow early on while Paul produced a couple of early unforced errors as the Brit broke in the opening game.
However it was the American who gradually improved his game and put more return pressure on in the opening set as he produced aggressive tennis mixed with good defensive shot-making. Paul had four break points in the sixth game but some costly errors mixed with brave play in pressure moments from Norrie saw those opportunities come and go as the Brit held for 4-2.
Paul continued to extend the rallies and find ways through Norrie’s defence but the Brit was willing to play the long game and succeeded. Paul couldn’t provide the clinical final touches to well constructed points, which was a theme of the match, and Norrie would hold to love to clinch the opening set 6-4.
The American made a slightly better start to the second set but again Norrie set the tempo early with some powerful shot-making and a more dominant all-court game. After not breaking in the opening game, Norrie produced a strong second return game as Paul continued to rack up the unforced error count as he took a 2-1 lead.
Just like the first set, the 30th seed applied the pressure in the sixth seed having two more break points but once again Norrie survived with some great defensive shot-making. Eventually though Paul would be rewarded for his returning pressure as the American kept the returns deep and powerful to cause Norrie problems. The Brit was too passive when serving for a two set lead and the American would break back for 5-5.
Norrie responded in fine fashion though as he continued to execute his game plan with efficiency as he broke straight back and would close out the second set for a two set lead. There was more of the same from both players in the third set with Paul being slightly more error-prone as a break in the third game for Norrie would be the decisive blow. The Brit closed out the match comfortably to seal a place in his first grand slam quarter-final.
Now Norrie is the last Brit standing in singles heading into the quarter-finals but the Brit is happy with that and feels comfortable leading British men’s tennis into it’s next phase:
“At the beginning of the tournament, you guys were asking me, You’re British No. 1, you got a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations on your shoulders. For me to play the way that I did in all my matches so far means a lot,” Norrie said after the match.
“Even the atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there. Especially on that last game, I was obviously pretty nervous. I was serving for my first quarterfinal of a slam. I wanted to get it done there. They definitely helped me a lot.
“I’m feeling comfortable doing that, and really enjoying playing at this level, first of all. If I can help any of the younger guys, there’s a big group of guys coming through with a lot of talent, a lot of chances to make it inside the top hundred.
“If I can be that guy to lead them on and to show they can do it.. I went to college, I can show them a good path, if you can stay professional and make good decisions. Managed to make the quarters of a slam doing that. I was really pleased with myself.”
Cameron Norrie  v David Goffin H2H & Match Fundamentals
Goffin has gradually been getting back to the type of tennis that saw him go deep in grand slams and threaten tennis’ elite. The Belgian’s four and a half hour epic win over Frances Tiafoe showed that he can battle and problem solve his way to victory. The Belgian’s resilience mixed with his ability to produce powerful patterns of play will be a danger for any player left in the draw.
Norrie will look to continue to be consistent and will look to produce a much higher level of play than he did against Jaume Munar when he last played a physical baseliner. This match will test Norrie’s stamina and ability to be consistently aggressive from all areas of the court as Goffin will be producing different depths and angles. This will be a gruelling match but Norrie should edge to victory in what is sure to be a tense affair.
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