By Ros Satar

  • Cameron Norrie def. Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-3
  • Norrie v Marton Fucsovics | First meeting
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – British No. 2 Cameron Norrie kept singles hopes alive at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters 1000, as he heads in to the second round.

 

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Cameron Norrie def. Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-3

Despite the occasional flashes of flair we see with France’s Adrian Mannarino, it was a far more solid performance from the British No. 2 Cameron Norrie than we have seen of late. Coming off what looked like an injury niggle in Houston, it looked to be a far more decisive Norrie putting pressure on the Frenchman.

In both sets first blood went to the Brit with breaks before the initial changeover at the start of both sets, and while Mannarino stuck with him, it was a more confident spell of play from Norrie on a surface he came back to last year, for the first time since playing in clay on the Futures tour in 2013.

He might not have the natural ability to slide and grind as some too, and at times his loopy forehand pulled the trigger a little too wildly, but in the first set he coaxed a stream of errors from the Frenchman, and did not face one break point on his own serve in the match.

 

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Norrie v Marton Fucsovics | First meeting

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Apart from having the kind of surname most commentators live in fear of, Marton Fucsovics started his career with great junior promise, as so many do, before almost drifting into the tag of ‘journeyman’ player. However, from closing out the end of 2017 ranked just outside the Top 80, he sped up the rankings in 2018, inside the Top 40 at the end of last year, winning his first ATP Tour final in Geneva… on clay.

Safe to say his record on clay is pretty solid, compared to Norrie but he too comes in off an indifferent US hard-court spring swing, and his three-set win over seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili will help that confidence a little bit.

Despite being further up the rankings, he and Norrie have had a similar year of highs. Norrie of course reached the final in Auckland – his first at ATP Tour level, and the Hungarian reached the final of Sofia earlier in the year, and capably backed that up with two quarer-finals before the wheels seemed to come off in Indian Wells and Miami.

Norrie will need to stay toe-to-toe with him and take his chances, but Fucsovics’ clay court prowess might just be a little too much for the Brit. He is very solid from the back of the court, and plays with a lot of physicality so will make this all stamina for the Brit.

Prediction: Fucsovics in three sets.

Norrie and Fucsovics are scheduled on Court 2, not before 12pm (11am BST).

 

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