Cameron Norrie kept alive his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals with a dominant victory over Federico Delbonis in the first round of the Rolex Paris Masters.
The British number one suffered a painful loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Vienna last week having held match points but began strongly in the French capital, winning nine games in a row in a 6-2 6-1 victory over Argentinian Delbonis.
It was Norrie’s 100th tour-level win, 49 of which have come this year.
The 26-year-old told Amazon Prime Video: “I know the score looked fairly comfortable but there were a lot of tough games in there. I felt I played a pretty complete match and really enjoyed my tennis again. It was far from easy but I was happy with my performance.”
Norrie sits 11th in the race to qualify for the eight-man season-ending tournament in Turin and needs to make up 140 points on Italian Jannik Sinner over the next two weeks.
“It’s pretty cool just to be in the race for that and to be playing these matches with a little added pressure and a little added motivation,” said Norrie, who hit another career-high ranking of 13th on Monday.
“You’re kind of watching what everyone else is doing and I think it’s pretty interesting and it’s exactly where I want to be and the matches I want to be playing.”
In the second round he will face either American Reilly Opelka or Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic.
But compatriot Dan Evans failed to join Norrie in the second round as he fell to a 2-6 7-5 7-5 defeat to Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik.
Evans dominated the opening set but allowed his opponent to level the match with a crucial break in the second to set up a tight decider.
Bublik broke the Briton at 4-4 but was broken back when he served for the match, with Evans saving a match point and converting his fourth break point.
Just when the momentum seemed to have shifted back in Evans’ direction, he was promptly broken again and Bublik made no mistake second time around to seal his place in the next round.
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