By Ros Satar, in Paris

  • Lucas Pouille [15] def. Cameron Norrie 6-2 6-4 5-7 7-6
  • Norrie looking forward to a break before the grass court season
PARIS, FRANCE – Cameron Norrie returned after bad light stopped play, and gave a good account of himself before bowing out in the second round of Roland Garros.

 

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 Lucas Pouille [15] def. Cameron Norrie 6-2 6-4 5-7 7-6

It was always going to be a tough task for Cameron Norrie to take out Lucas Pouille on home turf (or rather, crushed brick) and this outing proved to be more testing than most.

On Wednesday, with a better than has been usual day and no weather breaks, it was only the length of matches that was proving to be an issue of the scheduling of their round two match.

In the end they did go out onto the originally intended court of Chatrier, Norrie started slowly as Pouille made the most of the French crowd that had stayed. He jumped out to a 4-1 lead with flair as Norrie looked a little over-whelmed by the surroundings., with Pouille racing to take the first set.

Things looked a little more competitive from the Brit, but being on the losing end of a great rally might have dented his resistance a little, as Pouille broke for a 4-2 lead as the light was fading, and more ominous clouds were coming in.

Pouille was just able to do a lot of things better and more efficiently, and there is no doubt that experience began to tell here. A brief medical time-out for Norrie who seemed to be complaining of a stomach cramp held up the inevitable of Pouille wrapping up the second set, 6-4.

Although the light was fading, Pouille was indicating that he felt there was enough blue sky to continue. Ultimately it backfired as Norrie gathered his wits about him to dent French hopes in the gathering gloom to force the match to be suspended.

Norrie looked a lot more at ease the following day and deflected three break points before having a set point of his own on the Frenchman’s serve, but experience told as Pouille saved the break point, before breaking the Brit to serve for the match.

Norrie broke straight back to force a tie-break but Poulle urged the crowd to get on his side as he took the first minibreak. Norrie ultimately could not stay with Pouille but walks away with a lot to be proud of.

He said: “I think just being able to play against the best guys in the world and just have that exposure, and having all the cameras there, and playing on the bigger courts and just playing on clay in general. So I think just those things.

“And then a couple of crucial things in the match, like, he obviously played a little bit more aggressive than me in the bigger moments and that managed to get him through it.

“So I think if I would have played again, I would probably play a little more aggressive in the bigger moments.”

 

READ MORE | Roland Garros 2018 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

Roland Garros 2018 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

It has been a lengthy clay court swing for Norrie, and the LTA will be keen to obviously promote all British players, but his rise into the Top 100 marks him out as a name to use to get fans into tournaments – he is already slated in for Nottingham, following Roland Garros, and has a main draw wildcard for the Fever-Tree Championships at ATP Queen’s Club.

He said: “I think, after this, I’m just going to chill out for a little bit. I’ve played lots of tournaments. I think I’ve played, like, five or six weeks in a row. So a little bit of down time heading into the grass.

“Really, I just want to keep on enjoying my tennis and not really put too much pressure on myself. And I’m happy I made the second round of Roland Garros being my first year. So just want to keep the expectations low and just keep enjoying my tennis and keep improving.

“I might go to the beach somewhere with my parents. My mate’s in Croatia. I might go see him for a couple days. And then just all my energy towards tennis after that because it’s going to be hectic over the grass.”

The ATP Challenger in Nottingham takes place between 11-17 June.

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