French Open: Cameron Norrie goes through five sets against Frenchman Benoit Paire | Tennis news

Cameron Norrie kept the British players’ interest at this year’s French Open despite being forced to work hard and win a five-set thriller over beloved Benoit Paire. at home on Monday.

Norrie was the last British player to stand in singles at Roland Garros after Jack Draper was forced to retire with injury in the opening match earlier in the day.

But he survived the tumultuous match against French tennis player Paire and the wild crowd at Roland Garros to win 7-5 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4.

“It was a great match,” said Norrie. “It’s all thanks to Benoit. He played really well. He made it really difficult. Great atmosphere, thanks everyone for the support both ways, it was amazing. . I’m happy to get through a really tough game.”

It looked like an Englishman was about to be knocked out for the second time in four editions in Paris as Norrie took a 4-2 lead in the deciding set with Suzanne Lenglen.

But 14th seed Norrie had a stunning victory after three hours and 33 minutes to set up a meeting with another Frenchman, Lucas Pouille.

Paire toyed with retiring at 34 and entered the event as a 134-rated wild card.

He should have won the difficult first set, which lasted almost an hour, broke 4-3 and then had seven more break points after Norrie leveled.

Norrie’s fighting spirit and Paire’s reliable wide backhand serve helped him get past the opener.

He looked a bit more relaxed at the start of the second set and immediately had a break point but it was he who was trailed 2-1 after a controversial moment when referee Nico Helwerth penalized him. One point for a very rough save. Called at 30-30, the official claimed Norrie yelled while playing.

France's Benoit Paire reacts during the first match of the French Open tennis tournament against Britain's Cameron Norrie, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, May 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Benoit Paire packed up after two sets when the pair last met in a round at the US Open last summer

The partisan crowd was in high spirits as Paire tried to hold the tie to level the match, and the French national anthem was played around Suzanne Lenglen as their player broke again to take a 2-1 lead in the set. Tuesday.

With Paire out of support, Norrie was held back and this corner of Paris was in a party mood as the Frenchman moved two sets into one in front.

The fourth set went by in a flash, with Paire being broken early and then appearing to save himself for the decider, as Norrie again gave the opponent the initiative from the start with a game full of errors.

But the British No 1 didn’t allow himself to put his head down and his probing paid off in a 4-4 equalizer before Paire was finally cracked.

Paire vs Norrie: The Tale of the Tape

bag Match stats Norrie
16 ace 5
9 double error 3
80% first serve win rate 62%
35% 2nd serve win rate 62%
20/6 Break points won 23/8
30/45 Net points won 23/38
70 Total number of winners 38
81 optional error 40

More trauma woes for Draper

Jack Draper of Great Britain shows his emotions as he leaves the field after a three-set loss to Hubert Hurkacz of Poland during the second round match on day three of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at Monte Country Club -Carlo on April 11, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Jack Draper forced to withdraw in first round clash with Tomas Etcheverry

Draper had more physical problems as a left shoulder injury forced him to withdraw in a first-round clash with Tomas Etcheverry after just 65 minutes of play.

The 21-year-old has struggled with hip and abdominal issues this season but claims he is perfectly fit ahead of his second Grand Slam of the year.

In game eight, however, it became clear that Draper was sick again when he started serving under his armpit.

He managed to hold the serve to make it 4-4 but Argentine Etcheverry announced the next two would take the opening set, after which the doomed-looking Draper called the coach.

He took some pills and tried to continue playing, but was leading 0-30 in the second set of the second set, conceding defeat and shaking his opponent’s hand before trudging out onto the field.

There’s no doubt about Draper’s potential, but like his former compatriot Emma Raducanu, his body has so far been unable to withstand the rigors of top-notch tennis.

Draper now has five weeks to recover in time for Wimbledon, which begins on July 3.

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