LYON/STARNBERG, May 17, 2022
Top seed Cameron Norrie opened his title bid at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon with a solid 6-4, 6-4 second-round win over Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina on Tuesday afternoon.
The World No. 11 from Great Britain capitalized on four of his eight break-point chances to advance to the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 clay-court event after one hour and 40 minutes.
🇬🇧 @cam_norrie en patron ! 👊
Le n°11 mondial, finaliste l’année dernière a assumé son statut face à Cerundolo au terme d’un match costaud, 6/4 6/4. Direction les quarts pour le Britannique 👌#OpenParc pic.twitter.com/9uAC5coNn9
— Open Parc ARA (@OpenParcARA) May 17, 2022
“It’s great to be here in Lyon,” said Norrie, who made it to the semis in 2018 and finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas last year. The 26-year-old lefty has extended his winning record in France’s third-largest city to 8-3. “I feel really good here, such a simple tournament and the people that come out to watch are really passionate about tennis, they love it.
“[I had] good sensations and I really enjoyed the match for the most part. Francisco is a tricky player with a really good forehand, so I had to watch out for that. There were some nerves there in the second set, [when I was] up a break, and I kind of gave it away a little bit. I was able to break again, and he gave me a couple of loose points towards the end, so I will take those and move on.”
Up next for Norrie will be a first meeting with Sebastian Baez. The seventh-seeded Argentine rallied from a set down to overcome Oscar Otte of Germany 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Baez withstood 11 aces and broke his rival’s serve five times to secure victory in one hour and 57 minutes.
The World No. 38 from Buenos Aires is enjoying a fine run of form on the European clay. Baez captured his maiden ATP Tour title in Estoril in April and qualified for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome last week, reaching the second round before falling to Alexander Zverev at the ATP Masters 1000 event.
“He [Baez] is having a great year, and I really liked his game when I was in Argentina doing a pre-season many years ago, so it’s nice to see him come on and it’s going to be tough,” Norrie said of his upcoming opponent. “He’s won a title on the clay already this year in Estoril and he’s really enjoying his tennis. I practised with him the other day and he’s hitting the ball big off both sides, so it’s going to be a tough one.”