By Jake Davies
- Cameron Norrie defeats Borna Coric  6-4 7-6 (8)
- Norrie vs Yoshihito Nishioka
SHENZHEN, CHINA – Cameron Norrie advanced to the quarter-final of the Shenzhen Open as he scored one of his biggest wins to date, defeating No.3 seed Borna Coric in straight sets.
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Cameron Norrie def. Borna Coric  6-4 7-6 (8)
Yet again it was a match-up where Cameron Norrie was the huge underdog on paper, but as we have seen over the course of the last twelve months is that the Brit really does enjoy playing the role of the fighting, battling underdog and this was another example of just that.
The World No. 18 Borna Coric was the player looking the more likely for large spells of the first set, using his efficient court coverage from deep behind the baseline to extract as many unforced errors out of the Brit as he could, and to a certain degree he did a very good job of it, but often came unstuck when the big points arrived.
Coric held a total of eight break points in the first set, but those missed opportunities really affected the Croatian’s mental game when it mattered in the tenth game of the set as Norrie produced a smash and grab point to steal the set under the nose of his higher-ranked opponent.
The second set was a very different story in many ways as Coric reasserted himself to take a double break lead, winning four of the first four games of the second set, but Norrie came charging back, playing his best stuff when the scoreboard was seemingly getting away from him and he showed all of his fighting qualities in the tight moments of a second set tiebreak, staving off two set points and just about having enough solidity and stability off the ground and on serve to see the tiebreak out and claim the second best win in terms of ranking of Norrie’s career.
The key difference really was the security of the serve. The British No.2 won 79% of his first serve points and made sure that he kept his first serve percentage high enough to prevent his second delivery from sitting up and being a vulnerable aspect of his game against the Croatian.
It is another meaningful step in the career of Norrie, who has had many career highlights in this whirlwind of a year, and after each and every one of these wins he is slowly but surely gaining experience and learning so much more about his game as it develops.
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Norrie vs Yoshihito Nishioka H2H: Nishioka leads 1-0
Norrie now moves on to a big quarter-final match against the talented man from Japan, Yoshihito Nishioka. Nishioka is a player that really covers the court exceptionally well and that is one of his biggest strengths and he uses that in order to frustrate his opponent into making as many unforced errors as possible. He is left-handed so he can create perfect angles off the forehand side, but what the Japanese player lacks is a real weapon to buy free points off the serve, a killer blow in the middle of the rally and his 2nd serve is one of the slowest on tour, which Roger Federer really took care of in their meeting at the US Open earlier this year.
Norrie will come up against someone who perhaps has similar characteristics in terms of their competitive spirit on the court, but Norrie has a much greater serve, but most importantly he does more with it to set up the next strike in the rally, which should prove to be the difference in this match-up.
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