By Ros Satar
- Cameron Norrie [WC] v Benoit Paire
- First Meeting
- Norrie’s first time in main draw after three attempts at qualification
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Cameron Norrie is the sole British male in tour action this week as he is given a wildcard into the ASB Classic
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Cameron Norrie [WC] v Benoit Paire | First Meeting
Fresh from a decent start to the season with a couple of wins under his belt at the Hopman Cup, British No. 2 Cameron Norrie is the only Brit in tour level action this week. After a disappointing first round loss in Brisbane, British No. 1 Kyle Edmund had to pull out of Sydney, and Andy Murray chose not to aim for a Sydney wildcard and has already been practicing in Melbourne.
Norrie made the most of his opportunity at the Hopman Cup and got two solid wins over two very good players in Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe, both of whom made huge strides last year in their careers.
Now in his first tour action of the year, he is up against the wildly unpredictable Benoit Paire. The Frenchman also has a couple of match wins under his belt, having reached the quarter-finals in Pune.
It is another good test for Norrie as he looks to consolidate a strong year last year. What has impressed about Norrie is that he is very much a big picture player, and he can do a ittle bit of everything. He might not have a specific weapon bit is solid off both sides and has a capable serve. But it is his temperament that has impressed but he perhaps still needs to be able to settle into a Plan B.
In terms of Paire – the Frenchman is talented but despite having a strong serve and solid two-handed back-hand, Paire will throw in all manner of crazy shot-making and Norrie might have to scamper back and forth as Paire chucks in drop-shots for the sheer hell of it.
Also, if he loses his concentration and implodes, Norrie could have his chance for a decent scalp. Perhaps winnable if Paire goes walkabout.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
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