Fritz Derails Norrie’s Turin Bid In Paris
Taylor Fritz soared into his second consecutive ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final on Thursday at the Rolex Paris Masters, damaging Cameron Norrie’s Nitto ATP Finals hopes in the process.
The World No. 26, who enjoyed a run to the last four at the BNP Paribas Open last month, played consistently and aggressively from the baseline, saving two set points in the second set to down Norrie 6-3, 7-6(3) in one hour and 33 minutes.
“I played incredibly well,” Fritz said. “A lot of pressure situations I got through and played really well. He is in so many games and he really makes you come up with a lot. Fortunately for me I came up with the shots I needed to, to stay in the match.”
Fritz has now won 11 of his past 13 matches, having reached the final in St. Petersburg last week. The American earned his third Top 10 win of the year in the second round in Paris when he upset World No. 6 Andrey Rublev.
FOLLOW THIS WEEK'S ACTION
With his victory, Fritz has levelled his ATP Head2Head series against Norrie to 4-4. The 24-year-old had never been beyond the second round in two previous main-draw appearances in Paris, but will next face Novak Djokovic for a place in the semi-finals after the World No. 1 received a walkover from Gael Monfils.
“I am not playing important situations scared or tight,” Fritz added. “I am trusting my forehand as a weapon and just attacking with it. My forehand has become such a weapon I can rely on.”
Norrie has earned a career-best 50 tour-level victories this season and is 11th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin (2,945 points), battling to clinch one of the final two remaining singles spots available at the season finale, to be held at the Pala Alpitour from 14-21 November.
However, the Briton now faces a tough battle to qualify. Seventh-placed Casper Ruud (3,185) will secure his spot in Turin with victory over Marcos Giron later on Thursday, while eighth-placed Hubert Hurkacz (3,135) can stamp his ticket with a win against James Duckworth on Friday.
”Taylor was too good today,” Norrie said. [In the] really big moments he served well, came up with big shots, played aggressively, he was moving extremely well. All credit to him. He played a very clean match and was very consistent throughout the whole match, so it was too good.”
On his chances of qualifying for Turin, Norrie said: “It's looking unlikely, I guess. I haven't done the math or anything, but I think they [Ruud and Hurkacz] were ahead of me already and for them to still be in the tournament it looks difficult.”
In a strong first set, Fritz struck the ball with power and depth on his forehand to dictate, forcing Norrie deep behind the baseline. The 24-year-old found the decisive break in the sixth game to lead, before sealing the set on serve.
The American continued to push in the second set but Norrie showed great resilience, fending off both break points he faced. However, the 26-year-old was unable to convert two second set points on Fritz's serve at 5-4, 40/15 and 40/30 as they moved to a tie-break. Fritz pulled away in the tie-break as he found his best tennis, securing his victory with one of the 25 winners he hit in the match.