By Alessandro Mastroluca

  • Cameron Norrie open his second Australian Open campaign facing Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert
  • Last year, the Johannesburg-brit lost in straight sets to Taylor Fritz
  • The winner will play David Goffin, the No.11 seed, or Jeremy Chardy
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Cameron Norrie, after last year’s first-round loss, will meet Pierre-Hugues Herbert who beat him in the second qualifying round in Vienna in 2018.

 

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Cameron Norrie v Pierre-Hugues Herbert | H2H: Herbert leads 1-0

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Cameron Norrie will face Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert to seal his first career win at the Australian Open. The winner is projected to meet the No.11 seed David Goffin or Jeremy Chardy from France.

The Johannesburg-born Brit suffered a first-round loss last year in his only previous appearance Down Under. He lost in straight sets to Taylor Fritz.

Herbert, who reached the third round in Melbourne on his debut in 2016 and in 2019, won their previous meeting in the second qualifying round in Vienna in 2018 coming back after losing the first set.

READ MORE | Australian Open 2020 | Latest Tennis Schedules & Draws

Just two places separate the two in the ATP rankings. Norrie has a higher overall win-loss ratio: he’s 42-47 while his opponent has a 78-97 record. Herbert has a lower win percentage on the hard-courts than on both grass and clay, but he maintained a better record at Grand Slam level as his 14-20 record testifies.

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Norrie is likely to be concerned by his loss to Steve Darcis, retiring from tennis after the Australian Open. The Brit will need to serve and return more consistently to avoid an early exit in Melbourne.

Herbert, the sixth-best doubles player in the world, can show an elegant attacking game. His swift volleys can make the difference although the British left-hander can use his top-spin forehands to force his opponent behind the baseline and delay his transitions to the net.

The Frenchman doesn’t possess powerful groundstrokes to kill the point. Usually, he aims to pull his opponents wide with short balls and sharp angles. Norrie has to avoid finding himself more often on the defensive, running from side to side.

Prediction: Norrie in four sets

 

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