By Ros Satar

  • Cameron Norrie [3] v Janko Tipsarevic [WC] | First tour meeting
  • ATP Marrakech – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga downs Kyle Edmund in three sets.
MARRAKECH & HOUSTON – While last year’s Marrakech finalist Kyle Edmund bowed out in just the second round, Cameron Norrie faces a returning Janko Tipsarevic in his Houston opener.

 

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ATP Marrakech | Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Kyle Edmund [3] 7-6(6) 6-3

Kyle Edmund in the first round of the US Open, New York 2018

Kyle Edmund in the first round of the US Open, New York 2018 | (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

British No. 1 Kyle Edmund was left frustrated against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he tried to emulate last year’s run to a maiden final. At the start of the match there was barely anything between them as they ploughed through their respective service games.

In fact the first signs of waning came from the Frenchman, who saved a break point, leaving Edmund to play catch-up throughout the set until he forced a tie-break. The breaker also proved to be a tight affair, but a couple of wild shots from Edmund were the difference, as Tsonga converted on his third set-point, having even double-faulted on set point.

It was a cruel blow, made worse when Tsonga took advantage once more to break Edmund, who looked frustrated with himself. Tsonga turned the screw to break for the match.

 

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Cameron Norrie [3] v Janko Tipsarevic [WC] | First tour meeting

Cameron Norrie in the first round of Wimbledon 2018

Cameron Norrie in the first round of Wimbledon 2018 | (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Third seed and British No. 2 Cameron Norrie starts his Houston campaign with a first-time encounter against experienced tour veteran Janko Tipsarevic. The Serbian came through his opener with a little bit of a test in a tie-break for the second set, having coasted past Tennys Sandgren for the loss of just one game in the first set.

He will come up against a new foe in Norrie, who has been enjoying his rise up the ranks this year, reaching the final in Auckland at the start of the year.

While Tipsarevic has all the experience in the world, he is still working his way back after having to endure surgery on both hamstring tendons after the US open 2017, that kept him off the tour for the whole of 2018.

His outings in 2019 have been pretty scant with a couple of Challengers and no back to back wins in the main draws of the tour events – so far. Norrie has had to wait a while to get going, and will be keen to put aside a very indifferent Sunshine Swing in Indian Wells and Miami, having reached the semi-finals of Acapulco.

The Brit can expect to be run around the court if Tipsarevic is anything like approaching the kind of form he displayed at his best. He plays a hybrid of aggressive baselining, deftly mixed with counterpunching, and will look to move Norrie around.

There have been quite a few improvements in Norrie’s game and he will continue to grow, but he had a couple of losses in the US that might have given him pause as he would have been largely expected to win them. This will be a solid test for him.

Prediction: Norrie in three sets.

 

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