Cameron Norrie’s hopes of ATP Finals spot hanging by a thread after Taylor Fritz defeat in Paris

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Cameron Norrie’s hopes of making the end-of-season ATP Finals appear to have evaporated after losing 6-3 7-6 to Taylor Fritz in the Paris Masters.

Norrie realistically needed to reach the quarter-finals in the French capital to earn the necessary points for a place in the top eight in Turin later this month.

But the British No1 came unstuck against Fritz, who has recaptured his best form in the final tournaments of the season.

Fritz reached the finals of his last tournament in St Petersburg and the semi-finals of his preceding event, Indian Wells, which Norrie had won to put himself in contention for a spot in the ATP Finals.

Norrie could still earn points at next week’s Stockholm Open but two of the players who appeared catchable in the race to Turin, Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz, are still in contention in Paris.

Chances of making it win No51 this season never looked entirely viable with Norrie always the player on the back foot against strong first serves from Fritz, who was more of the aggressor between the pair throughout their two sets on court.

Fritz, who used the serve out wide in particular to good effect, was briefly under pressure in the opening game and was nearly broken but unleashed a delightful backhand down the line to erase that threat.

The only other break point in that set came in game six when an uncharacteristic Norrie double fault gave his opponent an advantage he never conceded.

Fritz had the first break opportunity in the second set but could not convert it as his rival held to go 4-3 clear. It seemed like it might be a pivotal moment and Norrie had the chance to force a decider.

Two set points came out of nowhere but Fritz kept arguably his best tennis in reserve to win four points on the bounce, save the set and force a tiebreak which he dominated.

He now faces Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals after the world No1 got a bye through when Gael Monfils pulled out with a leg injury.

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