Inconstant in the previous rounds against the French Luca Van Assche and Constant Lestienne, Cameron Norrie succumbed this Friday against Jiri Lehecka (6-7 , 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4). It is not this time that the 12th in the world, bandaged in one knee, will qualify for the first time in the round of 16 in Melbourne.
The rising young Czech (21, 71st in the world), down two sets to one, took advantage of some of his opponent’s unusual unforced errors, but mostly took him by the throat by setting up his tennis very direct (50 winning strokes, 50 reaching the net). Faced with Borna Coric and Christopher Eubanks, Lehecka had already signed his first two Grand Slam successes. This first victory in five sets will therefore lead him to experience his first round of 16, against Félix Auger-Aliassime.
Lehecka had already beaten two top 20s in his career, Denis Shapovalov last year in Rotterdam where he reached the semi-finals – his best result so far – and Alexander Zverev at the start of the season in the United Cup.