May 30, 2023
Cameron Norrie fought back to win a five-set thriller and maintain a British presence at Roland Garros.
There were times when everything seemed to be against him. That’s when the courageous Norrie reminded himself it was better to be out there battling than on the plane home early.
Cameron Norrie will doubtless show similar fighting qualities to go deep at Wimbledon 2023 in a few weeks.
It could have gone either way for Cameron at the French Open. The popular Brit fell victim to an unexpected ruling by the umpire – and promptly lost the next two sets.
He was called for “hindrance” after making an audible noise during a rally early in the second set.
Norrie couldn’t believe that judgement call – and it completely threw him psychologically.
But he recovered his composure just in time. And eventually he won the deciding set, despite being broken early on.
Wimbledon 2023 won’t be short of five-set thrillers and dramatic twists and turns either!
Norrie still seemed in shock after his 7-5, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over France’s unpredictable Benoit Paire.
He said: ‘I’ve never been called for that. I think it’s unacceptable and neither of us knew why he’d called it. I think Benoit thought it was for him, both of us were a bit confused. It was for sure a grunt.’
Dan Evans also suffered from a harsh ruling in the opening round. He was thrown by a harsh foot fault as he lost in straight sets against Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Norrie didn’t hold back on that incident either. He added: ‘Mine was a grunt and Evo was nowhere near foot faulting. I got away with it.
‘I think the crowd can be tough at times. But I keep reminding myself that it’s good to be playing. I want to be playing and out there in those tough moments, when the crowd is against me.’
And that understandable Roland Garros crowd bias is likely to be heard again when Norrie plays home favourite Lucas Pouille in the next round.
Meanwhile Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz both won through in straight sets in Paris.
Cameron Norrie and Novak Djokovic will be among the star attractions at Wimbledon 2023 in July. So will Carlos Alcaraz.
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