Cameron Norrie overcomes Yosuke Watanuki in straight sets in Madrid
Cameron Norrie finally delivered some British success in Madrid as he beat Yosuke Watanuki in straight sets.
With Andy Murray and Dan Evans crashing out in the first round and Emma Raducanu withdrawing on the eve of her match due to a hand injury, it had been a rotten week for the Brits.
But Norrie went some way to putting that right with his 6-4 7-6 (5) victory.
Marching on at the Madrid Open 💪@cam_norrie with a strong start in Madrid to beat Yosuke Watanuki 6-4, 7-6(5)#BackTheBrits 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/yeeo3tchoH
— LTA (@the_LTA) April 29, 2023
The British number one, who is looking to kickstart his European clay court season after early exits in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, made an inauspicious start against the Japanese and trailed 4-1.
But he found his rhythm and reeled off five successive games to take the first set.
The second was tighter, though it was the Brit who was the enforcer, seeing two break points saved as it went to a tiebreak.
🔥INTRATABLE🔥 Gran partido del 🇪🇸 que pasa por encima de 🇬🇧 Evans, 6-3, 6-2 y a 3R@bernabezapata1 | @atptour | @ATPTour_ES | #MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/Q3M1zmJWpt
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) April 29, 2023
And Norrie was able to get the job done, winning on his second match point.
Evans, seeded 19th, had earlier crashed to a straight-sets defeat to Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
The Spaniard, ranked 42 and a clay-court specialist, won 6-3 6-2.