Melbourne | Norrie fights through

Cameron Norrie, the British No.1, recovered from two sets down to match his previous best runs at the Australian Open and reach the third round at Melbourne for a third time.

I had this feeling and I managed to play solid enough. But he was a great player, credit to him, he made it really difficult Cameron Norrie

It is also only the third time that he has turned a match around after falling that far behind, but he admitted that the rain delays and one more specifically after the second set which gave him a chance to talk to his coach Facundo Lugones, and help him regroup.

After three hours and 35-minutes, Norrie completed the recovery to secure a very satisfactory 3-6 6-7 6-2 6-4 6-4 victory over Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri.

Norrie had struggled to generate any rhythm at times with 24 out of his 49 unforced errors made during the first two sets.

“I was making excuses to myself, I was mentally terrible,” he said during an on-court interview.

“But he took the racket out my hands in the first hour and a half, and I couldn’t play. Then a couple of rain delays and I somehow lifted and won the third set.

“And then when I came out for the fourth set, the crowd were amazing, and I thought I was going to win the match – I knew it. I had this feeling and I managed to play solid enough. But he was a great player, credit to him, he made it really difficult.”

Casper Ruud expects a tough match when he faces Cameron Norrie

(Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Awaiting Norrie in the next round will be Norwegian Casper Ruud, the 11th seed, who was also experienced a roller-coaster affair of a match, but he eventually overcame the stiff resistance offered by Max Purcell, the home favourite, 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 7-6(7) after three hours and 50-minutes of play.

“I think his plan was just to stress me as much as he could, just rip balls from the back, try to rush, come to the net. He does it so well. It’s tough for me to find any rhythm.” Ruud said following his win.

“He serves great. He’s not the biggest guy, but he has a really quick arm and shoulder. He generates a lot of spin speed with the serve, and he mixes up. He’s a really tricky player and a great tennis player in my eyes, even though he plays differently from others.

“I’m very happy with the win.”

Ruud currently leads Norrie 3-0 in their head-to-head but the last time they played was in 2022.

“I need to be on top of my game if I want to hang in there with him,” Ruud commented.

“I have played him a few times before, been able to beat him before. I know what has given me the win. He will try to seek revenge and find a way to beat me.’

“It’s going to be a tough one.”

Elsewhere, Alexander Zverev also moved into the third round with a 7-5 3-6 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(7) win over qualifier Lukas Klein, a qualifier from Slovakia, and now faces Alex Michelson of the US who toppled the 32nd seed, the young Czech Jiri Lecka 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4.



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