Norrie Sails Through As Popyrin Stuns Felix In Rome
12-May-2023 14:07:00 | ATP World Tour
Cameron Norrie wasted little time kick-starting his Internazionali BNL d'Italia campaign on Friday morning in Rome.
The World No. 13 required just 74 minutes to down Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-3 for a confidence-boosting second-round win at the ATP Masters 1000 event. Norrie entered the match with a modest 2-3 record on the European clay so far this year but the Briton fired 20 winners and converted three of his seven break points to overcome the No. 100-ranked Muller.
The 27-year-old Norrie, who defeated Carlos Alcaraz to lift his fifth ATP tour title in Rio de Janeiro in February, now takes on Marton Fucsovics as he bids for back-to-back main-draw victories in the Italian capital for the first time in four attempts.
Fucsovics will be looking to upset a seeded opponent for the second straight match after he took out 17th seed Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-4. Norrie leads the Hungarian 4-0 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, including two wins on clay.
Also on Friday, Alexei Popyrin completed a hat-trick of Top 10 wins for 2023 after he upset World No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in a three-hour, 17-minnute epic on Grand Stand Arena.
A pulsating encounter in which Auger-Aliassime struck 38 winners and Popyrin hit 36 tilted the Australian qualifier’s way after he sealed the only break of the deciding set in the 11th game with a stunning backhand pass. Popyrin then held his nerve behind serve to book a third-round spot on main-draw debut in Rome, where he will next face 22nd seed Sebastian Korda or Roman Safiullin.