Norrie continues ATP Tour Finals bid with solid opening win in Paris
British men’s number one Cameron Norrie continued his bid to reach the ATP Finals with a solid opening win at the Paris Masters.
Norrie, now ranked 13th in the world, won 6-2 6-1 against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.
Norrie, 26, could still take one of the remaining two spots at the season-ending finals, which start in Turin on 14 November, with a deep run in Paris.
Fellow Britons Dan Evans and Andy Murray play later on Monday.
Norrie has enjoyed the best season of his career to move into contention for a place in Turin, which has taken over from London as the host city for the year-ending event.
The left-hander has reached six finals this year, most notably when he won the prestigious title in Indian Wells last month, and his improved consistency has seen him rise from 74th in the world to the top 15.
However, Norway’s Casper Ruud and Italy’s Jannik Sinner go to Paris in pole position to qualify for the eight-man finals.
After beating Delbonis, Norrie said it is “pretty cool” to still be in the race.
“To be in the question of that event at this stage of the year shows the improvements I’ve had this year,” he told Amazon Prime.
“To be playing these matches with a little added pressure and motivation is exactly where I want to be.”
Following up Indian Wells with another Masters title could seal Norrie’s spot, although he will face tougher opponents than Delbonis in the French capital.
A strong field at the indoor hard-court event includes Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev – the world’s top two men’s players.
Norrie, the 10th seed, will now play American Reilly Opelka or Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic after easing past Delbonis, whose losing streak was extended to a 10th match.
British number two Evans faces Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, before former world number one Murray plays American qualifier Jenson Brooksby about 18:30 GMT.
World number one Djokovic returns to court on Tuesday for the first time since his hopes of a calendar Grand Slam were ended by Russia’s Medvedev in September’s US Open final.
The 34-year-old Serb will play Marton Fucsovics on Tuesday after the Hungarian survived a fightback from Italy’s Fabio Fognini to win 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5).