Cameron Norrie keeps alive hopes of qualifying for ATP Finals with Paris Masters win over Reilly Opelka

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Cameron Norrie kept alive his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Tour Finals in Turin later this month with victory over Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Paris Masters.

The British No1 and tournament No10 seed found himself under pressure from the big-serving Opelka but had enough to keep the American at bay 6-3 6-4 for his 50th win of the season.

The 6ft 11in Opelka had the chance in both sets to gain the ascendancy but failed to convert two break points in the opening set and, in the second set, had a hard-earned break erased instantly against one of the form players on tour in 2021.

Norrie was the same obdurate brick wall he has been on court all year against one of the biggest servers in world tennis, his opponent growing increasingly frustrated to the extent that he virtually gave up at points in the latter stages of the match.

The Briton faces another American for a place in the quarter-finals in Taylor Fritz, who knocked out No5 seed Andrey Rublev earlier in the day.

Norrie already has two titles to his name this season, most notably in Indian Wells last month, and has his work cut out to make it three in the same half of the draw in Paris as Novak Djokovic.

Already, he boasts more singles wins this season than the world No1 and notched up another in a solid performance.

Having fended off the threat of a break, he took his single break-point chance to go 5-3 and then served out the opening set in less than half an hour.

The last Briton left in the draw after the early demises of both Andy Murray and Dan Evans looked set for a break in the first game of the second set but Opelka’s serve held firm.

Surprisingly, it was the American who got the opening break but he could not capitalise as Norrie broke back immediately and turned the screw in the remaining games.

Norrie had four match points on the final Opelka service, which he could not convert, and was undeterred to serve out the match.

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