By Ros Satar
- Cameron Norrie v Albert Ramos-Vinolas [Q] | H2H: Ramos-Vinolas leads 1-0
- Norrie will look to gain a little ground after their Davis Cup meeting last year
BARCELONA, SPAIN – Cameron Norrie looks to build on a couple of wins in Monte Carlo as he faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening round.
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Cameron Norrie v Albert Ramos-Vinolas [Q] | H2H: Ramos-Vinolas leads 1-0
Having taken to the clays courts after an absence of four years, British No.2 Cameron Norrie gave the Spanish Davis Cup a moment of pause after registering a solid win against Roberto Bautista Agut, but by the time he faced Albert Ramos-Vinolas, the Spaniard had the measure of him, albeit over four sets.
Ironically as Norrie’s star has been rising, Ramos-Vinolas has fallen a little and he is somewhat adrift from his previous career high of World No. 17. His fortunes during the Latin American Golden Swing saw back to back quarter-finals in Buenos Aires and Rio De Janeiro.
On the dirt, Norrie should have gained a little more confidence in his game after stumbling a little since reaching the Acapulco semi-final, but against a clay court player of Ramos-Vinolas (on his day, at least) it could be another tough battle ahead for Norrie, who cannot afford to start as slow as he did at times in Monte Carlo.
What was pleasing to see in Monte Carlo was the balance of power shifting a little from Norrie as he became more accustomed to riding out the longer rallies – especially in his match and solid win over Martin Fucsovics.
He can expect Ramos-Vinolas to try and ground him down to dust from the baseline and the Spaniard will run everything down all the live long day, if Norrie lets him. For the Brit, finding the balance between being the aggressor on this surface, and going toe-to-toe with grinders will define a lot of what we see from him in this stretch of the season.
Perhaps he might need to tone down that extravagantly loopy forehand of his – there were times when he reduced the takeback, it became increasingly harder to read, and it will inject a bit of variety to mix things up. However, it will be a battle to come out on top.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
Norrie & Ramos-Vinolas are scheduled second on Pista Manuel Orantes, not before 12:30 (11:30am BST).
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