By Ros Satar
- Cameron Norrie v Jordan Thompson | H2H: Norrie leads 2-0
- Dan Evans [LL] v Malek Jaziri | H2H: Jaziri leads 2-0
MIAMI, FLORIDA USA – Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans lead the British charge at the Miami Open as they open their campaigns.
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Cameron Norrie v Jordan Thompson | H2H: Norrie leads 2-0
While the British No. 2 had a great showing at Acapulco, reaching his first ATP Tour 500 level semi-final, his outing at Indian Wells ended at the hands of the young Felix Auger-Aliassime. The youngster’s fearlessness undid Norrie in a far earlier than expected exit.
He has the scope to do better here. Already boosted with a winning head to head over the Aussie Jordan Thompson, he got the better of him in four sets at the US Open last year, as well as a win on the Challenger Tour the year before.
Thompson, previously better known for defeating Andy Murray at Queen’s in 207 after coming through qualifying, at the start of the Brit’s woes with his hip. He learned his trade having to battle against bigger juniors, scrapping for his points, and now he is a lot stronger and athletic, he still has that gritty tendency.
He has a good all-court game and seems to be at ease either at the back of the court, or finishing up his points at the net. He has a great serve and pretty solid groundstrokes. What he might lack though is the consistency that Norrie has been showing over the past 12 months or so. Norrie has quietly built himself up to be the British No. 2, has made his first final at the start of the year, and is still on the rise.
Norrie also can do a bit of everything, and moves very well around the court. With his improved forehand, strong backhand – perhaps the only area where he could get hurt is if Thompson wins a few more points on his serve.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
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Dan Evans [LL] v Malek Jaziri | H2H: Jaziri leads 2-0
It has been a busy time in the US for Dan Evans. After reaching the Quimper Challenger final straight after the Australian Open, he reached a second ATP final in Delray Bean and the semi-final of the Indian Wells Challenger event before the main deal. A couple of solid wins in the qualifying rounds, but a first round draw against Stan Wawrinka, he at least took the Swiss the distance, before bowing out.
Maybe the amount of tennis he had in his legs was catching up with him. He managed one win in the Phoenix Challenger, and actually fell in the second round of qualifying, but got in as a lucky loser.
He will face Malek Jaziri in the first round. The Tunisian has a big serve that Evans will really need to try and get on the end of to be able to go toe-to-toe with him, although could more than match his aggressive style.
Depending on his levels of fatigue, Evans ought to make things tricky for the Tunisian. His bad tempered outburst at the officials resulted in him having a point docked for hitting a water-bottle and shows he is fraying at the edges.
Prediction: Jaziri in three sets.
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