Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie pulled off one of the best wins of his career on Friday to advance into the third round of the Miami Open, overcoming Grigor Dimitov, the ninth seed, 7-5, 7-5.
“It’s huge,” said Norrie. “He’s really good on the hard courts. He’s had a good start to the year. It was such a physical match at the start. He came out really fast and he set the tone at the beginning of the match. Massive one for me and I take a lot of confidence from it.”
Dimitrov opened the match playing with supreme confidence as the 29-year-old took an early break and then established a 5-3 lead. As the Bulgarian served for the set, he hit two double faults before Norrie swept to the net and snatched the break back with a bold volley winner.
In similar heat and humidity to the conditions that downed Jack Draper on Thursday, Norrie demonstrated his typical consistency and durability as he turned the match around amid a series of gruelling exchanges that included a 44-stroke rally. Dimitrov’s own conditioning eventually failed him as he finished the match heavy legged and unable to move freely around the court.
Norrie, 25, has taken a clear step forward in his career since returning from the tour’s five-month hiatus in August. He has won consecutive matches or more at five of his seven ATP events this year and this marks just the second time he has done so at a Masters 1000 event. Norrie is around the top 20 in the ATP race, which measures results compiled only in 2021. Although that ranking is likely to even out as the season progresses, it reflects the consistency he has established on hard courts so far in 2021.
With his victory over the world No 16, Norrie has also now defeated three top 20 opponents since last year’s US Open, doubling his career total before last summer. Norrie will next face the 22nd seed, Taylor Fritz of the United States, in the third round.
Elsewhere, Britain’s Katie Boulter was unable to consolidate her early break against the 16th seed, Elise Mertens of Belgium, and she was eventually defeated 6-4, 6-1. The top two women’s players of 2021 so far also moved on as the 2nd seed, Naomi Osaka, won her 22nd consecutive match 7-6 (3), 6-4 over Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia, while Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza, seeded 12, eased past Wang Xinyu of China 6-4, 6-1.