Cameron Norrie overcame a late wobble to defeat Hugo Gaston and move into the fourth round of the Miami Open. Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Heather Watson all fell on Saturday to leave Norrie as the only British singles representative, but that is a position to which the 26-year-old is becoming accustomed.
He is on course to break into the top 10 for the first time next week and was ultimately too strong for talented Frenchman Gaston, winning 6-3, 7-5. Norrie looked set to claim victory more comfortably, recovering from dropping serve in the opening game of the match to move a set and 5-3 ahead.
He held five match points on his opponent’s serve and then another on his own in the following game but was unable to take any of them, with Gaston using all his trickery to claw his way back into the match.
However, Norrie broke serve again to move 6-5 in front – with Gaston smacking the net and then a ball into the crowd in frustration – and finally clinched an eighth match point.
He told Amazon Prime Video: “It was one of those days where it was tough to close it out. I was a little bit stressed there. I managed to sneak through. I just got a little bit tentative and lost my feet and wasn’t moving enough.
“I was really happy with how I responded to getting broken. He’s a tricky guy. You feel like you need to be really aggressive otherwise he’s going to throw in a drop shot at any moment. I think that’s something I need to work on.”
On Saturday, Hubert Hurkacz unleashed 17 aces to topple France’s Arthur Rinderknech 7-6 (5), 6-2 and keep his title defence going as Daniil Medvedev, the world number two, sent Murray packing and Naomi Osaka advanced on a walkover.
Medvedev, the reigning US Open champion, never faced a break and proved too nimble for three-time Grand Slam winner Murray, dropping just two of his first-serve points in the second set as he won 6-4, 6-2.
“Playing against Andy is never easy,” said Medvedev, who is on a quest to regain his number-one ranking. “I managed to serve well, and I think that was one of the keys today.”