Cameron Norrie denied using skill in his third-round win over Holger Rune at the US Open.
The British no. 1 continues to live up to his top-10 finish, holding off 19-year-old Rune in a 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 win at Flushing Meadows to reach the fourth round for the first time .
Rune, already the highest-ranked Dane in history and a quarter-finalist at this year’s French Open, has a reputation for a prickly character and protested to the referee in the second set over Norrie catching his ball toss before serving.
Players have 25 seconds between scores, but the clock stops when the server throws the ball up, meaning catching the throw costs extra time to reset.
Rune hinted to the referee that he thought Norrie was deliberately exploiting a loophole in the rules, although later in the press room he was more diplomatic.
“I think it’s a fine balance,” said the teenager. “You’ve got that 25 seconds and the ref accepts that when you’re at a second and you do it, you can let it go and take five, 10 seconds to bounce it off again and then serve and then all of a sudden you have 10 seconds .
“It’s a bit annoying. I don’t control the rules, but I think you can do it a few times, but maybe 10, 15 times is too much.”
In response, Norrie said, “I’m not doing this on purpose. I would like to go out there and throw a perfect ball every time and get up there and hit rockets. It can happen sometimes. I prefer to play fast. I like to play fast.”
Norrie, whose run to the Wimbledon semifinals marked the first time he had gone past the third round at a slam, opened up a 5-3 lead in the first set but hit a wild double fault and then hit a smash to drop serve to let Rune play a similarly bad game and give him a second chance.
The British number one looked to have controlled the second set 4-1 but Rune was again able to put some late pressure on after feeling dizzy and consulting the doctor, forcing Norrie to salvage two break points at 5-4.
The pair had met twice before, with both games in contention for a deciding set, but here Rune couldn’t put up any real resistance in the third as Norrie clinched the win.
The seventh seed, who admitted he struggled with nerves in his second-round win over Joao Sousa, said: “I thought I played a little better than the previous game, that was great. I felt a lot more comfortable. It was nice to be in the stands.
“It was tough playing against Holger. He can come out and play very aggressively and get up front very well. He’s extremely talented and a young up-and-coming player, but it was nice to come straight through.
“I think the sowing is great. You can work your way into the tournament more than being out there if you have to play a top seed early on. I still have a lot of things I want to improve and I have time for that tomorrow.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/cameron-norrie-french-open-british-lta-amazon-b2159250.html Cameron Norrie denies winning the US Open against Holger Rune