US Open: Cameron Norrie, His Two-Hour Strategy And Plans To Run A Half Marathon - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Cameron Norrie, His Two-Hour Strategy And Plans To Run A Half Marathon

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Image via https://twitter.com/the_LTA/status/1564267865179672579/photo/1

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

 

Cameron Norrie has become one of those players who wear down opponents, to the extent where they no longer know how to win a point and get gripped by a sense of anxiety which drives them to overdo it and miss shots they usually make. 

His win over Carlos Alcaraz in Cincinnati has surely boosted his confidence that he can also beat players who are capable of overpowering him through stages of a match. The longer the match gets, the likelier he is to accomplish the feat. The two hour strategy, which he mentioned at Wimbledon in the quarterfinal against Goffin, now is his trademark.

“When I talked to Facu (Facundo Lugones, his coach) this morning about tactics I told him: look, I think it’s big we get it to two hours and make it as physical as we can, and then the match starts from there. I felt like I did my job. I got to two hours and then I was able to get it done pretty quickly after that. I was feeling better and better as the match went on. I was able to stay very calm, serve well. I think that was the difference today.” He said. 

In his current form Norrie can lose either with a player who is even more enduring than he is, or with a player who can overpower him constantly. In the future Holger Rune may become one of these. Now he still lacks experience.

“Holger is pretty young and I have seen him cramp a few times in a couple points when it can be quite hot. It was, like, look I want to try and make it as physical as I can and make rallies longer to get to two hours. It just went two hours and he kind of dropped his intensity, and started playing too aggressive, in my opinion and was missing a lot.” Norrie commented. 

Norrie’s fitness has often made the headlines. He can run 10 km in 36:45 10 km and 5 km in 17.20. Does he harbour greater ambitions?  

“I would maybe like to after tennis. I haven’t really thought about it too much, but I’m a decent runner, so it would be nice to maybe do that when I’m done with tennis.”

But we will not have to wait too long, before seeing him in action.

“I actually lost in my Fantasy Football last year. I came last and I still owe a half marathon. I need to pick a good time to do that,” he revealed. 

The match

Norrie Rune 75 64 61 

Coming into the match the question was: has Rune a powerful and resistant enough battering ram to break open the door of Norrie’s fortress?

He had been quite close, in his two previous losses to Norrie, going down both times in three sets. Their last encounter was just a couple of weeks ago in Cincinnati.

And in the first 4 games Rune did prove he had the power. The hinges of the British fortress door creaked, with Norrie saving 4 break points in his first two service games, but did not budge. Instead Rune lost his serve in the second game.  

Perhaps Rune’s winners were more spectacular, yet not as many as he needed to level the match.

Norrie never ceased varying direction and angles, length and pace. Often he chose to play towards the centre of the court, so as to make it difficult for Rune to open up angles. Unforced errors from the Dane were mounting up.  At the end of the match they would be 43, not compensated by 36 winners.

Serving for the set something unexpectedly cracked in Norrie’s game. Two missed smashes, forehands falling short and a double fault let Rune back into the match.

Norrie was quick to find his bearings once more. He broke immediately and did not falter a second time, serving out the set to love.

In the very first game of the second set Rune faced break points. He saved four brilliantly, also  winning a net clash that fired up the public, but by dint of insisting Norrie got the break. In spite of Rune restraining unforced errors, the gap widened to a two break lead.

Rune recovered one of the breaks, with Norrie’s forehand falling again a little too short and allowing Rune to pound on it. But in the 10th game, after saving still another break point with the typical lefthander serve out wide, the Brit put away the set with a well-placed flat backhand down the line. 

When Norrie broke in the third game of the third set, suddenly also Rune’s body language revealed resignation, Norrie won the next four games and continues his clear and best ever run at the US Open: in the round of 16, yet to drop a set.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup

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The lineup for Day 3 (twitter.com/lavercup)

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 

 

Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.


Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.


Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday

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The lineup for Day 2 (twitter.com/lavercup)

In the wake of Roger Federer’s incredibly emotional retirement on Day 1, the focus of this event shifts to the rest of the competitors on Day 2.  And for the first time in the five-year history of the Laver Cup, Team World goes into Day 2 without a deficit.  With both Federer and Rafael Nadal replaced by alternates for Day 2 and Day 3, is this Team World’s opportunity to capture their first Laver Cup? 

 

Each day, this preview will look at all four scheduled matches, while taking an extended look at the most notable match of the day.  Saturday’s day session gets underway in London at 1:00pm local time, and the night session at 7:00pm.  And each match on Saturday is worth two points.


Matteo Berrettini (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World) – 1:00pm

These two good friends have played four times, with Berrettini winning on three of those occasions.  Matteo’s wins came three years ago in the final of Stuttgart on grass, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Wimbledon, and a year ago in this event.  Auger-Aliassime’s only win occurred last summer in Cincinnati.  Matteo is coming off a quarterfinal run in New York, as well as three victories last week in Davis Cup.  Felix was upset in the second round of the US Open by Jack Draper, and went 2-1 in Davis Cup.


Cameron Norrie (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – Second in the Day Session

Norrie was also an alternate in last year’s Laver Cup, but did not play.  Fritz was a part of Team World in 2019, when he went 1-1 in singles, defeating Dominic Thiem during Sunday’s play in a must-win match to keep his team alive.  Cam is now 45-22 on the year, while Fritz is 36-17.  Both men achieved their best-ever Major performances two months ago at Wimbledon.  They played each other just last week in Davis Cup, with Norrie prevailing after three tight sets.  Overall they have split 10 previous meetings.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – 7:00pm

Is Tiafoe ready to upset another member of “The Big Three” on Saturday?  He earned the biggest win of his career by taking out Rafael Nadal at the US Open, and defeated Nadal and Federer in doubles on Day 1 alongside Jack Sock.  Meanwhile, this will be the first match for Djokovic in over two months, since he won the Wimbledon final over Nick Kyrgios.  The unvaccinated Novak was unable to travel to North America for the hard court summer season.

Djokovic has only played seven tournaments this year, amassing a record of 23-5.  Tiafoe is 26-19, and is coming off his exciting semifinal run in New York.  Their only previous matchup was at the 2021 Australian Open, when Novak defeated Frances in four sets.  Frances is certainly the much more match-tough player on this day.  But despite his recent inactivity, Djokovic should still be considered the favorite.


Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock (Team World) – Second in the Night Session

Novak will have only a few minutes of rest ahead of this doubles match, so the length of his match with Tiafoe could impact the result here.  This will be Novak’s first time playing doubles since last year’s Davis Cup finals.  Berrettini played three doubles matches this past January at the ATP Cup, going 1-2.  De Minaur overcame Andy Murray in singles on Friday in what was a grueling contest, while Sock was defeated in singles and victorious in doubles.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Frances Tiafoe And Jack Sock Ready To Rain On Federer’s Parade At Laver Cup

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Frances Tiafoe describes his first match at this year’s Laver Cup as ‘iconic’ but he is determined to seal victory with doubles partner Jack Sock. 

 

Tiafoe, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open earlier this month, will feature in what will be the final match of Roger Federer’s illustrious career. The Swiss maestro has announced that the team competition will be the last event he will play before retiring from the sport at the age of 41. Federer will partner up with long-time rival Rafael Nadal in what promises to be an emotional encounter for all involved on Friday evening. 

“It’s going to be iconic to be part of that,” Tiafoe told reporters in London. “Both guys are absolute legends, and obviously Roger’s last dance. We are definitely just out there trying to get a win.”

Looking at the wider picture, Tiafoe knows a win in the doubles could prove vital in team World’s bid to win the Laver Cup for the first time in history. Whilst on paper his achievements are overshadowed by those he faces, his current form gives him the edge. Federer hasn’t played a match since Wimbledon last year due to a knee injury. Furthermore, Nadal is still trying to get back to his best shape following an abdominal injury and was beaten by Tiafoe at the US Open. 

“This is a special night. I just think me and Jack are just looking for a special night, come out there, have fun,” he continued. “The crowd is obviously going to be for them. You understand that kind of moment, and just go out there and do your part and just try to get a win. It’s going to be a special night tomorrow. I’m just happy I get the opportunity to do it with Jack.”

Sock, who has won three Grand Slam titles during his career, echoes Tiafoe’s desire to seal victory over the two tennis giants. 

“I’m just stoked to be a part of it with my guy Foe (Tiafoe),” he said. 
“We will go out and enjoy the moment, but not going to hold anything back. Sorry, Roger. Don’t want to spoil the night.”

Federer’s final match at The O2 Arena in London is set to take place in front of a sellout crowd. Following his retirement announcement, ticket sales for the three-day event have exploded. Ace Odds have reported a 4020% rise in demand for tickets with prices starting from £900. An extraordinary outcome considering the most expensive ticket for the Laver Cup was originally £510. 

The doubles match involving Federer, Nadal, Tiafoe and Sock is estimated to start around 20:20 BST on Friday. 

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