AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Cameron Norrie continued on his way to winning the tournament in Auckland, a city he considers his home, beating American Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2 on Thursday. in the quarterfinals.
Born in South Africa, Norrie grew up in Auckland and was a regular at the ATP tournament before his family moved to Great Britain, where he currently competes.
The crowd was supportive of him on Center Court from the moment his top-eight matchup began, two and a half hours late due to rain.
He fascinated the spectators by taking the first set without breaking a sweat, with breaks from Girón’s serve in the first, fifth and seventh games. But his first serve, which was reliable in the first set, was a little less so in the second and at the start of the third.
Girón broke Norrie in the first game of the second set, but Norrie rallied in the fourth. The sleeve reached the tiebreaker, in which Girón took the lead with a mini-break in the ninth point.
“This tournament is like a second home for me,” Norrie said. “I grew up here, coming from Bucklands Beach Tennis Club (in a suburb of Auckland), and it’s good to be back. Playing here is very special. I was a fan of this tournament, so it’s great to be playing on this court.”
Girón reached the quarterfinals with tight wins over Argentine Federico Coria and American JJ Wolf.
Norrie is the only seed alive in the contest. Norwegian Casper Ruud (1st) fell on Wednesday in the second round.
Norrie’s next opponent will be another American, Jenson Brooksby, who defeated Frenchman Quentin Halys 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2). On the other side of the draw, Richard Gasquet of France beat David Goffin of Belgium 1-6, 6-1, 6-1.