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Cameron Norrie shows his class to win Australian Open opener

The British number one won 10 games in a row in a 7-6 (3) 6-0 6-3 victory

Eleanor Crooks
Monday 16 January 2023 10:07 GMT
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Cameron Norrie, pictured, beat Luca Van Assche (Ng Han Guan/AP)
Cameron Norrie, pictured, beat Luca Van Assche (Ng Han Guan/AP) (AP)

Cameron Norrie survived a close first-set battle against teenager Luca Van Assche before pulling away to ease into the second round of the Australian Open.

The British number one, seeded 11, has become a master of winning these early grand-slam matches and so it proved once again, a run of 10 straight games helping him to a 7-6 (3) 6-0 6-3 victory over a player ranked 143.

Norrie only arrived in Melbourne late on Saturday night after a heart-breaking loss to Richard Gasquet in the final of the ASB Classic in his home city of Auckland.

That gave him only one day to prepare for this match but he carried a lot of confidence from a run of six victories to start the season, including over Rafael Nadal, as well as his exploits of the last two campaigns.

A good run here could see Norrie return to the top 10 and he was his customary relentless self as he wore down 18-year-old Van Assche.

The Frenchman, who won the junior title at Roland Garros in 2021, is considered a big talent for the future and twice recovered from a break down in the opening set.

Norrie became a little wayward off his forehand but tightened things up in the tie-break and from there kept constant pressure on Van Assche, who will have learned a lot from the encounter but was not quite up to the task here.

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