Cameron Norrie overcame a tricky test in his first game as the seed of an TBEN event, beating Elias Ymer in a narrow 7-6 (4), 6-3 win at the Mifel Open on Wednesday.
The British player arrived in Los Cabos in career 30th in the FedEx ATP rankings after setting a personal best in three finals at Estoril (to the left of Ramos-Vinolas), Lyon (to the left of Tsitsipas) and the Queen’s Club. (from left to Berrettini). He improved to 32-14 on the season with the win.
“This game had a bit of everything, and all the credit goes to Elias because he came out and played really well,” said Norrie. “It was good to win my first match victory. It was difficult, really hot conditions, but it felt good to finish this first game. But all the credit to him, I was honestly lucky to finish the game.
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Norrie had to fight off a slow start in the hot, sunny conditions of Baja California Sur, as he ran into a scorching Ymer who ran out of the gates dictating play with his groundstrokes. The 25-year-old Swede hit the pitch deep and kept Norrie behind the baseline, unable to attack, and Ymer mixed the throws with great success.
Ymer had three break opportunities in the first set – all set points – as Norrie shot some big first serves to stay in the contest at 5-4 and send them into a tie-break at 6-5. But under pressure as Norrie continued to collect every ball, Ymer committed three consecutive 4/4 unforced errors to give the Briton the first set after 69 minutes.
The Swede did well to bounce back and open the second set with an early break, winning eight points in a row as he led 3-1. But Norrie had already settled into the game and he responded that way, raising his level and winning the next five games in a row to clinch his spot in the quarterfinals.
He will then face the American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo, who needed an hour and 46 minutes to defeat Denis Kudla 6-4, 7-6 (9).
Also in action, Alex Bolt defeated Emilio Gomez 6-4, 6-1 in their first tour-level encounter. The Australian awaits second-seeded winner John Isner and Evgeny Donskoy, who will be in action later on Wednesday.