Cameron Norrie’s hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals in Turin suffered a blow as he was defeated 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 by Félix Auger-Aliassime, the sixth seed, in the second round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna after holding three consecutive match points.
After winning the first set Norrie led 5-1 in the second-set tiebreak and generated triple match point at 6-3. Despite his failure to convert two match points on his own serve, the missed opportunity was primarily the product of a sublime fightback from Auger-Aliassime who rose to the moment and played faultlessly under immense pressure.
On the first match point, Auger-Aliassime drilled a forehand down-the-line winner and the Canadian then produced an excellent cross-court backhand passing shot to save the second match point on Norrie’s serve. Auger-Aliassime brushed aside the third match point with a winning serve-forehand combination.
Norrie, the Indian Wells champion, was full of praise for Auger-Aliassime’s level in the second half of their match. “He was playing real physical tennis from midway through the second and in the third he played flawless,” he said. “He didn’t miss any first balls. I played great but I played one loose game.”
Norrie’s defeat leaves him in a less certain position for the ATP Finals after Casper Ruud and Jannik Sinner, both slightly above him in the ATP Race, won their matches on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals in Vienna.
Norrie will head to the Rolex Paris Masters where he will look for a big result in the final Masters 1000 of the year. He will be joined by Andy Murray, who has been awarded a wildcard.
“I’m resting tomorrow and will travel to Paris and do it again,” Norrie said. “I was happy with my level and if someone is going to beat me they will have to play like Félix did.
“I was happy with the way it went but I didn’t get the result I wanted.”