• Cameron Norrie def. JC Aragone 6-2, 6-1
  • Norrie v Adrian Mannarino [3] | H2H: Norrie leads 2-1
DELRAY BEACH, USA – British No. 3 Cameron Norrie breezed past JC Aragone in blustery conditions and faces No. 3 seed Adrian Mannarino next.

 

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Cameron Norrie def. JC Aragone 6-2, 6-1

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British No. 3 Cameron Norrie got off to a winning start against US wildcard JC Aragone. The only male Brit in action this week, after Andy Murray and Dan Evans opted not to take any risks regarding COVID-19 and quarantine measures in Australia, on paper the Brit made short work of the college player Aragone but still found himself tested from time to time.

In blustery conditions, Aragone pushed Norrie hard in the opening service game, bringing up a break point chance, before finding himself under pressure and saving two on his own serve.

But once Norrie settled into a rhythm and his range, a break to love set him on a more comfortably path. Aragone had more chances come his way to redress the balance, but could not get past Norrie’s defences, eventually being broken once more for the first set.

The second set, the momentum was all on Norrie who took his chances to break Aragone before a confident serve out to love to start 2021 with a win.

 

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Norrie v Adrian Mannarino [3] | H2H: Norrie leads 2-1

Next up for him will be Frenchman Adrian Mannarino who posses the style and flair most of the French players have, but maybe not the most powerful of weapons, which might make it a more level playing field for the Brit.

The Frenchman will try and take time away from Norrie by taking balls on the rise and we can expect to see him come in a lot more to deploy volleys as his more favoured shots. Against some players who look to hug the baseline it can be a decent tactic, but it has been noticeable the work that Norrie has put into his movement, and he did at least try darting forward in his Battle of the Brits encounter with Murray at the end of the year.

While Norrie, much like Mannarino, might not have the same easy power as some other players, he can disguise his forehand well, and whips it back with pace and has a more than effective backhand.

With this being a battle of the lefties, the trickiness gets nulled out and despite Mannarino’s experience out on the tour, he can let his emotions get the better of him, whereas the Brit keeps a nice even tempo throughout his matches.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2020 Hard Court)

H2H: Adrian Mannarino (34) Cameron Norrie (74)
1st Serve % 58 65
Service Games Won % 78 75
Break Points Saved % 62 61
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 52 48
Break Points Converted % 40 42

 

Norrie had the measure of the sometimes-mercurial Frenchman in their first two encounters but their most recent battle saw Norrie strike first and decisively taking the first set comfortably before Mannarino settled to take it in three sets.

Certainly, this could go the distance, and given that Norrie has got some court time in his feet while Mannarino had the benefit of a bye, expect this one to be another cagey encounter.

Prediction: Norrie in three sets.

 

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