Cameron Norrie bullies Kaichi Uchida at Korea Open to end losing run
Cameron Norrie ended a three-match losing run with victory over Kaichi Uchida in the opening round of the Korea Open.
The British number one was disappointing in Davis Cup defeats by Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp and Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik and then lost a close match to Taylor Fritz at the Laver Cup last weekend.
But he took advantage of a kind draw in Seoul with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Japanese wild card Uchida, ranked 163.
Norrie, who as the second seed had a first-round bye, served eight aces and did not face a break point as he set up a quarter-final against American Jenson Brooksby.
“It feels great,” said Norrie. “I was a bit jet-lagged, so it was nice to get up early and get it done in straight sets.
“I felt the conditions suited me well, it was pretty hot and I like that. It was a tough match but I was able to win some close games and get a couple of breaks each set so it was a good day for me overall.”
Norrie will next face eighth seeded Brooksby after the American downed South Korean Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes.
Brooksby is chasing his maiden tour-level title and hopes that this week in Seoul will deliver. The American youngster has turned heads this season enjoying runs to the final in Dallas and Atlanta earlier this season. The 21-year-old is up four places to No. 42 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his 24th tour-level win of the year.
In other action from the Korea Open, another American in lucky loser Aleksandar Kovacevic continued a dream run, eliminating rising NextGen ATP star Chun-Hsin Tseng 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-2.
The 24-year-old Kovacevic is making his tour-level debut this week and will play countryman Mackenzie McDonald in the quarter-finals.
McDonald blasted past Japan’s Shintaro Mochizuki 6-3, 6-4 in just 90 minutes.
Meanwhile Norrie has his sights set on reaching the ATP Tour Finals in Turin.
“We’ve got two weeks in Asia now, here and in Japan next week,” Norrie, the world number eight, said in Seoul.
“My goal is to reach the Finals in Turin and I’m planning to set myself up for that here.”
He is hopeful to live up to expectations as he carries the flag for Britain as the current No 1 player.
“Being British, Wimbledon comes with a little bit more pressure and a little higher expectations, but I was able to handle that pretty well,” said Norrie, fresh from Roger Federer’s farewell at the Laver Cup in London.
“My goal is to reach world number one and to do that I’m going to have to win a Grand Slam as well.”
The five oldest women ranked by the WTA at the end of 2022
Who are the oldest women ranked by the WTA?
Carlos Alcaraz’s coach admits ‘working with Zverev was not easy’
Alexander Zverev is reportedly not the easiest man to work with.
Iga Swiatek has surprised even her coach with 2022 progress
Iga Swiatek looks poised to be even better in 2023.
Emma Raducanu’s quest to toughen up is on track – Tim Henman
Emma Raducanu is working on her toughness.
ATP top 10 prize-money earners in 2022: Novak Djokovic leads the way as Nick Kyrgios cracks top 10
Your ATP top 10 prize-money earners in 2022.
Rafael Nadal confirms one event that he will skip in 2023 as cool images emerge from exhibition match
Rafael Nadal won’t defend one of his titles in 2023.
Bianca Andreescu finally ‘in tune with herself’ and hopes to use tennis ‘to help inspire others’
Bianca Andreescu feeling the love on and off the court.
Canada worthy Davis Cup winners as lucky losers, wildcards and substitutes all part of tennis history
Oh, Canada! Enjoy your Davis Cup win.
Ashleigh Barty ‘honoured’ as she battles Nick Kyrgios for prestigious Australian tennis award
Who is your Australian tennis player of the year?
Rafael Nadal says Big Three rivalry with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic key to their longevity
Rafael Nadal says Big Three rivalry has taken them to “extreme mental and tennis levels”.