British number one Cameron Norrie boosted his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals with victory over Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters.
Norrie, who dropped just three games in beating Argentina’s Federico Delbonis on Monday, overcame his big-serving opponent 6-3 6-4 in 73 minutes and faces another AmericanTaylor Fritz in the last 16.
It was Norrie’s 101st tour-level win, 50 of which have come this year.
The 26-year-old, who recovered from 3-1 down in the second set, told Amazon Prime Video: “Reilly’s a great player and he’s really tough to play against.
“He can play really aggressive at times and he can lock it down and make a lot of balls and then obviously with his serve it’s difficult, but I managed to put some returns in at the right times and chip on my forehand side and I was just happy to get through it at the end.”
Norrie sits 11th in the race to qualify for the eight-man, season-ending tournament in Turin and needs to make up 140 points on Italian Jannik Sinner over the next two weeks.
“I’m watching all the matches and I think everyone else is as well,” added Norrie, who claimed the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells last month. “It’s cool to have something extra to play for.”
Norrie holds a 4-3 career record against Fritz and the winner of their last-16 clash could face world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
“I’ve played him a lot in my career, I think the most of anyone, so we both know each other’s games very well,” Norrie added. “He’s extremely confident, had a final last week (in St Petersburg) and has beaten two good opponents this week.
“When he’s confident he’s very, very dangerous so I’m going to have to watch out for him. He too has a good serve so I’m going to have to return well and play the big points very well.”