Cameron Norrie rejects match-fixing allegations to reach fourth round

Until this year’s Wimbledon, six weeks ago, Cameron Norrie was still struggling to make his first appearance in the second week of a Grand Slam. At times he faced brutal third-round matchups against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, while at other times genuine opportunities passed him by.

These days, he makes it look easy. On Saturday afternoon, Norrie followed up his SW19 breakthrough by calmly cruising into the fourth round of the US Open for the first time.

As Norrie’s composure contrasted sharply with Holger Rune’s temper, Norrie cruised to a 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 victory over the 28th seed to advance. After three rounds, Norrie has yet to lose a set. “My goal today was to get to two o’clock and then we start the game from there. “Literally, when it hit two o’clock, I broke to go 2-1 ahead in the third set,” Facu noted. [Lugones, his coach] and I said, “Okay, now the game starts.” He seemed to die a little bit,” said Norrie, who won in two hours and 12 minutes.

As the game got away from him, the 19-year-old Rune set his sights on Norrie. In Norrie’s 5-4 lead in the second set, he continually complained to the umpire that Norrie was running up the 25-second service clock by taking the serve when he knew and suggested it was on purpose. β€œHe does it every time and then I have to stop. Every time,” he said.

Holger Rune accused Norrie of deliberately running down the shot clock when he knew.
Holger Rune accused Norrie of deliberately running down the shot clock when he knew. Photo: Justin Lane/EPA

Afterwards, Rune struck a less accusatory tone, admitting that he didn’t think it was deliberate. “I’ve played with him before and he’s done the same thing every game. Maybe it’s a sign of a tight game and he’s nervous,” he said. “There wasn’t much wind today, you can’t blame that. It’s how he does it. He serves well and plays well, so all credit to him.”

Norrie remained composed through Rune’s protests, holding serve for the second set through a long deuce game and winning seven of the last eight games. He later dismissed Rune’s complaints, stating that he was not catching his pitch on purpose. “I stayed a lot calmer than him during a lot of big moments in the game,” he said.

Norrie enters the fourth round with a real shot at another Grand Slam career. He has established himself as a serial winner, his 44 wins this year placing him third in match wins on the ATP this year. He faces an even bigger challenge in Monday’s fourth round against ninth-seeded Andrey Rublev, who eased past Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7- 6 (7).

After four Britons reached the third round of the US Open, Norrie is the only player to have advanced to the fourth round. Marin Cilic, the 15th seed, cruised past 20th seed Dan Evans 7-6 (11), 6-7 (3), 6-2, 7-5 in three hours and 59 minutes.

Evans had plenty of chances in an extremely tight 82-minute first set, leading 6-4 in the tiebreaker and holding three set points before Cilic reached the tiebreak. Although Evans tied the match at one set, the 2014 US Open champion beat Evans in four tough sets to reach the fourth round.

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