Cameron Norrie out to break new ground at Australian Open

By Sports Desk January 19, 2024

Cameron Norrie will have to break new ground in two ways if he is to keep British singles hopes alive at the Australian Open.

The 19th seed is the only British player to have reached round three but he has never been further at Melbourne Park, while he has lost all three previous matches against opponent Casper Ruud.

Indeed, Norrie has managed just one set, at the ATP Finals in 2021, while Norwegian Ruud also came out on top in meetings in Miami and San Diego.

 

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“He’s beaten me a few times in some really big matches,” said Norrie. “I’m going to look at those matches and see where I can improve.

“I think a lot of the time was down to execution and him staying a bit calmer than me in the bigger moments. Every time I played him, he served really, really well. I think his serve is quite underrated.

“I didn’t actually get a chance to watch one point of his (second-round) match, but I heard it was really high level from both. I’m looking forward to watching that one and then watching my previous matches with him to see what I can improve on and what I can do to make him uncomfortable out there.”

Both Norrie and Ruud survived five-set encounters on Thursday, with the British number one putting wrist pain out of his mind to come from two sets down to beat Giulio Zeppieri.

Ruud, meanwhile, prevailed in a deciding tie-break against Australia’s Max Purcell to make it to the last 32 in Melbourne for the second time.

He was ranked number two in the world after reaching his second grand slam final of the season at the US Open in 2022 but, despite getting to the same stage again at Roland Garros last year, he has slipped to 11th.

The 25-year-old is yet to lose so far this season, though, winning all his matches at the United Cup earlier this month, and he hopes he still has the winning formula against Norrie.

“He’s a tough competitor, for sure,” said Ruud. “He’s raising his level the past three, four years.

“He has a cool story. Came from college, took it to the next step from there. He’s a great player. I need to be on top of my game if I want to hang in there with him.

“I have played him a few times before, been able to beat him before. I know what has given me the win. He will try to seek revenge and find a way to beat me.

“It’s going to be a tough one. In a way we’re both in a similar situation, we had a tough five-setter.”

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