Barcelona | Norrie notches up 200th win

Cameron Norrie powered into the Barcelona Open quarter finals with a 6-4 6-3 victory against home favourite Roberto Bautista Agut for his 200th win on the Tour and was surprised when that mark was pointed out to him.

I think on the score it was easy, but there were a lot of tough points in there Cameron Norrie

“I didn’t actually know that. I know that yesterday Roberto [Bautista Agut] got 400. So, I’m halfway to his. To get 400 wins is impressive.

“I didn’t know that, but I’ll take that 200th win against a top player.”

And while the score line suggests it had been a comfortable win, Norrie had to dig deep, especially in the opening stages, to get the momentum he required. In the second game, for instance, he had to win a 26-shot rally. He then went on to beak his Spanish opponent for 2-1.

Norrie broke again in the seventh game and then held for 5-3 and while Bautista Agut did respond, it was too late to save the set.

The 12th seeded Norrie maintained the pressure in the second set with another early break which he followed up in the third and ninth games to wrap up a place in the last eight after 84-minutes of play.

“I think on the score it was easy, but there were a lot of tough points in there,” Norrie pointed out.

“I was really pleased with how I handled myself when serving for the first set. I had a couple of tough games at the end of the second set there and played a good game to break as well.

“So I was very, very solid and I converted the points when I was aggressive. I felt like I was moving well, and I was pleased with my footwork.”

Norrie will now come up against Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who came back from one set down to beat Brandon Nakashima of the US 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4.

Casper Ruud plays a backhand

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Joining Norrie in the last eight is the third-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway who defeated 14th-seeded Aussie Jordan Thompson 6-1 6-4.

Ruud won the first five games of the first set and eventually closed out the match after 75-minutes for a meeting with Italian Matteo Arnaldi, a 6-3 6-0 winner over Argentine qualifier, Marco Trungelliti.

“I’m feeling like I’m in good form,” Ruud, last week Monte Carlo’s finalist, said afterwards. “Just trying to build on the confidence, on the wave that I’m on, trying to ride on it continuously, and yeah, it was a good match today.

“It was a tricky one, because Jordan has caused a lot of problems for me. I think he’s a fantastic player, especially on the serve, he comes to the net a lot—tricky—and he has a fantastic volley. Not so many guys come to the net anymore so it’s good to see, but sometimes it’s frustrating because you feel like you can’t pass him.”

“I’m feeling well physically and mentally. Match wins didn’t come easily for me last year, so every match I can win is important, even though you might not think like that always. But last year taught me every match can be important, every match can be a turning point if things aren’t going great. This year I’m on a good streak, and I would like to keep it going.”

Surprisingly, the fourth-seeded Alex de Minaur of Australia was unable to follow up the momentum of his win over Rafa Nadal on Wednesday, as he was ousted by the 16th seeded teenage Frenchman Arthur Fils 7-5 6-2.

Eleventh-seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain and 17th-seeded Hungarian Fabian Marozsan were not as fortunate. The former was beaten 7-6(10) 3-6 6-1 by Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic while the latter fell 3-6 6-3 6-1 to Facundo Diaz Acosta of Argentina.

Meanwhile the Monte Carlo champion continues his run of wins with a solid 7-5 6-3 performance against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.



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