By Ros Satar

  • Cameron Norrie [WC] v Jan-Lennard Struff
  • Into his fourth tour-level semi-final
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Cameron Norrie continues to play with confidence as he gets one over Taylor Fritz to set up his fourth appearance in a tour-level semi-final.

 

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Cameron Norrie [WC] v Jan-Lennard Struff | First Meeting

Fresh from his Hopman Cup exploits, the match play itself will not have done any harm, but rubbing shoulders with the brightest young talents coming up, as well as some of the game’s finest has had no end of impact on the young Brit.

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As well as beating ATP Next Gen stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe, he has also put paid to Taylor Fritz, who was in Milan as well. That win in particular will give him a lot of confidence, as Norrie drew Fritz in his opening round of the Australian Open.

Struff is not too dissimilar from the style of play he will have encountered against Fritz. He lacks a good whack of the ball with an effective serve, and a pretty solid backhand, but perhaps Norrie has a little more variety to bring to the party.

We have seen that rankings have not made much difference to Norrie’s approach, and he is in that fortunate position of being able to still swing for the fences with no ranking expectations on him to win.

Struff has reached two more semi-finals than Norrie, and has never made it to a final, so it will all depend on how the nerves play out. The New-Zealand-raised Norrie will no doubt have ‘home’ advantage on his side, and if he can harness that energy, he might just edge the German out to make a spectacular start to his season.

Prediction: Norrie in three sets.

Norrie and Struff are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 4:30pm (3;30am GMT)

 

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