Great British hope Cameron Norrie blasts into Auckland final

Victory for Cameron Norrie Cincinnati Masters US Open Credit: Alamy
Victory for Cameron Norrie Cincinnati Masters US Open Credit: Alamy

Cameron Norrie has reached the final of the ASB Classic after a clinical victory over young American Jenson Brooksby.

Norrie still feels at home in Auckland it seems having lived in New Zealand during his childhood.

The crowd certainly got behind Norrie as he blew past Brooksby 6-3, 6-4 in Friday’s semi-final.

Norrie is unbeaten in 2023 having improved to 6-0 with his win over Brooksby.

Brooksby appeared to have the tools to take Norrie all the way but the Brit pounced on small errors to claim a victory that will also be a big learning experience for American.

“It was an absolute battle with Jenson. A lot of long rallies and I know how well he competes, so it was nice to get it done in straight sets,” said Norrie, noting his failure to close out his previous two matches in straights after he claimed the opening set.

“I’m glad the sun came out, everyone came out on a Friday,” he continued. “It was an amazing atmosphere and I really enjoyed it.”

Norrie gave a lot of credit to his opponent after the match, with Brooksby pushing him all the way.

“He puts the ball in such awkward parts off the court and I had to come up with a lot of really tough shots on the run and a lot of big passes,” Norrie said.

“I was able to serve it out and stay really calm and get over the line, but he’s a great player.”

When Norrie beat Marcus Giron to reach the last four he lamented a lack of cutting edge in his game.

“I came out firing and really was enjoying my level and playing well,” he assessed. “I made it really tricky for myself, played a loose game to start the second set. Just a lack of concentration. I was able to come back and then he played a better tie-break than me, he was more aggressive and he executed better. He deserved it.

“Then I came out [in the third set] and played kind of similar to the first set and took it to him, and exposed his backhand.”

Norrie will face France’s Richard Gasquet in Saturday’s final, after the he advanced via walkover over countryman Constant Lestienne who pulled out of the match with a pectoral strain.

The British No 1 won all three of his United Cup singles matches to start his 2023 season and has now added three wins in Auckland.

Two wins over top ten players in the United Cup will give Norrie confidence heading into the Australian Open.

Norrie would naturally love to head into the Australian Open as a five-time ATP Tour titlist.

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