Norrie to face Gasquet in Auckland Classic final

Second-seeded Brit beats Brooksby 6-3, 6-4 in semi-finals; Frenchman gifted walkover victory

AFP January 13, 2023


Cameron Norrie will face Richard Gasquet in the ATP Auckland Classic final after the Frenchman was gifted a walkover victory in the semis on Friday.

In the warm-up tournament ahead of the Australian Open, second-seeded Norrie won through to the final with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory over American Jenson Brooksby in his first straight sets win of the week.

The 36-year-old Gasquet – once ranked as high as seventh in the world but is now 67th – did not get to take the court with fellow Frenchman Constant Lestienne, who pulled out with a shoulder injury suffered during his quarter-final win over Serb Laslo Djere the previous day.

Norrie, ranked 12th in the world and a beaten semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, applied early pressure on the 48th-ranked Brooksby who was forced to save four break points on his second serve.

On his third serve, the American could no longer hold off the torrent of fierce returns from Norrie who was untroubled holding his serve throughout the set.

As had been the case in his two previous matches, Norrie was again in trouble at the start of the second set when Brooksby opened a 2-0 lead but this time he was able to break back twice to wrap up the match.

"It was nice to get it done in straight sets. In the other two matches I won the first and lost the second so it was nice to get it done straight," Norrie said.

"But it was an absolute battle, you know, a lot of long rallies.

"He puts the ball in such awkward parts of the court and I had to come up with a lot of really good shots on the run, and a lot of big passes and was able to hold on to my serve there at the end."


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