Norrie says he's expecting a 'battle' with Danish teen Rune

Cameron Norrie says he’s expecting a ‘battle’ with Danish teenager Holger Rune in the US Open third round… as the British No.1 claims his feisty opponent ‘really wants to beat me’

  • Cameron Norrie says he’s expecting a ‘battle’ in the US Open third round
  • The British No.1 will face 19-year-old Danish star Holger Rune on Saturday 
  • He described his opponent as ‘a very competitive kid’ who ‘wants to beat me’
  • Norrie beat Benoît Paire and João Sousa to reach the US Open’s second week 

In blue shorts and a bright yellow shirt, Cam Norrie’s US Open outfit suggests he might be making a statement about the war in Ukraine.

The truth is slightly more prosaic and has seen him being teased by friends about looking like one of his favourite childhood cartoon characters.

‘Actually, one friend texted me saying, “Well done, SpongeBob”. I used to watch it a lot,’ said Norrie in the wake of a hard-fought, straight-sets win over Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Cameron Norrie says he’s expecting a ‘battle’ in the third round of the US Open on Saturday

The British No.1 will face rising star Holger Rune – who he described as ‘a very competitive kid’

‘I think it’s tough to look good in the yellow, but I’m doing my best.’

Tonight it will be back to the deadly serious as Norrie (below) seeks to make week two of a Grand Slam for the second time in succession when he tackles Denmark’s Holger Rune.

He has yet to hit quite the form that he managed at Wimbledon, but the experience of making the last four there this summer is helpfully lodged in the memory bank.

‘It was nice to tick the box and make the second week for the first time at Wimby. That gives me a lot of confidence.

Norrie is looking to emulate his successful run at Wimbledon earlier this summer

‘Making that run, playing my best tennis in those big matches, those big moments, that was a big goal for me this year.’

He must now get past 19-year-old Rune, whose ranking of 33 marks him out as one of the best young prospects in the sport.

Rune, who progressed to the third round via a walkover when giant American John Isner withdrew, has already acquired a reputation as a no-holds barred competitor, who got into a spat with fellow Scandanavian Casper Ruud during their recent French Open quarter-final.

‘I played him on the clay, he’s just a very competitive kid,’ said Norrie. ‘Watching him practise, seeing his determination, his level of focus, he really wants to be a top player.

19-year-old Rune has already developed a fiery reputation after on-court conflicts

‘He’s out there training and putting in the hours, he is very talented.

‘The two times I’ve played him, it’s been a battle. I think he really wants to beat me.’

Dan Evans is in Norrie’s half of the draw and on paper has the more difficult task against Marin Cilic, the rangy veteran who at 33 is still in the world’s top 20 and consistently knocking off strong opponents.

He won the Flushing Meadows title in 2014 when he beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the final, becoming a rare interloper to lift a major trophy amid the dominance of the Big Three and the contributions of Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray.

Fellow Brit Dan Evans is also on Norrie’s half of the draw and faces Marin Cilic on Saturday

Evans will be giving away almost a foot in height, although he emerged victorious over the Croatian in their one previous meeting.

That was at the 2017 Australian Open, during the period of Evans’ career before he had taken on the professional habits that now see him regularly seeded at Grand Slams.

In the event that he did manage to get through, he would equal his best ever showing at a Grand Slam, achieved at this event 12 months ago.

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