Cameron Norrie poised to join fellow Brit Kyle Edmund in world top 40 after Monte Carlo Masters comeback victory over Marton Fucsovics
- Cameron Norrie has progressed to the last-16 of the Monte Carlo Masters
- He defeated Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 7-6, 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon
- Norrie needs one more win to join fellow Brit Kyle Edmund in the world top 40
- The 24 year-old southpaw will face Italian Lorenzo Sanego in the last-16 clash
Andy Murray is a long-term absentee but as soon as Thursday afternoon there could be two British men inside the world’s top 40.
Cameron Norrie will join Kyle Edmund there if he can gain one more win on Thursday and make the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters, on what is his first appearance at this historic clay court event.
The 24 year-old southpaw will become a fellow member of the top 40 club if he can defeat Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sanego, having earned that winnable third round draw by beating Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 7-6, 6-3.
Cameron Norrie progressed to the last-16 of the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday
The cosmopolitan Norrie is closing on Edmund and will soon be threatening his place as British No 1 if he keeps this up, and the Yorkshireman fails to find momentum that has been elusive this year.
It could lead to an intriguing situation in regards to the new ATP Cup team competition in Australia at the start of next season.
One facet of the event is that a qualifying country’s No 1 player – and GB is likely to qualify – gets to choose to the team supremo. Norrie suggested on Wednesday that long-established Davis Cup captain Leon Smith, in charge of the 2015 triumph, is not an automatic choice.
He defeated Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics (pictured) 7-6, 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon
‘Tough question,’ he said when asked. ‘ I think it would have to be between a couple of guys. Facu, my coach (Argentinian Facundo Lugones), I know he gets on well with Evo, so he could be a good one.
‘Leon is not a bad option, either. And I get on well with Trotters (James Trotman, who is working with him in Monaco this week) and he knows the players pretty well and he’s coached Kyle in the past. He’s another good option.
‘I’ll see. I don’t know. Hopefully I get to pick that one.’
It may yet come to pass, especially as Edmund – currently the world No 23 – gives the impression that he has yet to really come to terms with the pressure of having such a lofty ranking.
Norrie had never won a Masters level match before this week, but worked hard from the baseline against world No 37 Fucsovics and recovered from 3-5 down in the first set.
The 24 year-old southpaw will face Italian Lorenzo Sanego in the quarter-finals
‘It’s been a couple of years since we have had three guys in the top 100 from the UK,’ said Norrie, who was brought up largely in New Zealand by British parents.
‘It’s nice to have guys around the similar rankings supporting each other and having kind of that culture that some of the other countries have like Argentinian guys have and the French guys.’
The aforementioned Dan Evans was confirmed as having a direct entry for the French Open next month, a reward for his strong results this season after returning from his ban less than a year ago.
The guaranteed British singles contingent at Roland Garros will be Edmund, Norrie, Evans, Jo Konta and Katie Boulter.
While Norrie has made a heartening debut in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal looked ominously masterful on his first appearance of the season on European clay, defeating compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-1.
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