Cam Norrie eases into the French Open third round after beating Lucas Pouille

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Cam Norrie eases into the French Open third round after powering his way beyond home favourite Lucas Pouille in under two hours… despite being jeered by the crowd once again after double bounce controversy

  • Cam Norrie wasted little time in beating Lucas Pouille at the French Open 
  • The British No 1 progressed 6-1 6-3 6-3 to the displeasure of the home crowd 
  • He will play either Lorenzo Musetti or Russian Alexander Shevchenko next 

Cam Norrie has become a public enemy in France this week, but will happily accept that as a price for making the third round at Roland Garros.

The British No 1 on Wednesday night took down a second player from the host nation and got the obligatory booing, especially after playing on after he had benefitted from a double bounce.

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Norrie followed up his opening win over Benoit Paire with a far more convincing 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 trouncing of former top 20 player Lucas Pouille, putting him in the last 32 at the French Open.

Once again he was faced with a hostile crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen, incurring their displeasure when he was awarded a point in the fifth game of the third set which had hit the court twice.

Norrie reviewed it after the match and admitted his mistake, but felt there was enough doubt to leave the decision to umpire Eva Asderaki-Moore, who was perched right on top of where the incident took place.

Cam Norrie eased through to the third round of the French Open after beating Lucas Pouille

Cam Norrie eased through to the third round of the French Open after beating Lucas Pouille

Pouille (pictured) was downed in just under two hours despite the support of the home crowd

Pouille (pictured) was downed in just under two hours despite the support of the home crowd

Pouille was livid in the heat of the moment did not make too much of it afterwards, and one thing both players could agree on was that there should be more use of video replays to sort out such disputes.

‘I saw the ball in the air. It was spinning back, so I thought maybe there’s a chance I got it,’ Norrie said later. ‘ I just watched it now, and I think it looks like it did bounce twice.

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‘For me there was a bit of doubt there. I think it’s up to the umpire to call that, and it was right there in front of her. So I continued the point. But I think it’s on her to make those decisions.’

He ended up hitting a winning lob, but it was hardly as if the call turned the match, because he was already well on his way to victory. He and Pouille – who is on his way back after a severe career slump – would like to see some form of VAR brought in to adjudicate these cases.

‘We should be using the technology, we definitely could be using video to our advantage,’ said Norrie.

Once again he had shown what a quietly uncompromising competitor he is, having riled up Novak Djokovic in Rome last month.

He will need to show that again in the next round when he faces Lorenzo Musetti, the gifted young Italian who is already up to eighteen in the world and loves the clay.

At least there will not be the dimension of a partisan court to contend with. It was a much improved performance from Norrie’s opener: ‘Sorry to take another Frenchman out but hopefully you can support me in the next round,’ he told the crowd, who seemed fairly non-plussed.

Norrie progressed 6-1 6-3 6-3 and did so after being jeered yet again following controversy

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Norrie progressed 6-1 6-3 6-3 and did so after being jeered yet again following controversy

Geopolitical tensions continued to intrude on the tournament, with a particularly testy encounter taking place with second seed Aryna Sabalenka after she had reached the third round.

The Belarussian was taken to task by a Ukrainian reporter in attendance, who asked her why she had signed a letter in 2020 supporting her country’s dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and about film footage showing the two of them socialising together.

She was also asked to explicitly condemn the invasion, which is being supported by her country. The world number two declined to say anything in response: ‘You’ve got enough answers from me, and I have no comments to you,’ she replied.

French hopes of a decent run from a home player suffered a major blow when world No 5 Caroline Garcia, who saved nine match points, was eventually beaten in three sets by Russian Anna Blinkova.



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