Cameron Norrie was quick out the gate against Frances Tiafoe and showed his mettle in a 6-0 3-6 6-4 result to reach the last-four at the Delray Beach Open.
Norrie took just 26 minutes to wrap up the first set, winning 72 per cent of points, before the American restored his form and tested the Brit.
As the world No 62 found his flow in the second set, he broke Norrie en route to a 3-0 lead and recovered from a dropped service game for 5-3, to then serve out the set.
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Throughout the match, Norrie created a wealth of chances to break his opponent, 17 to be precise, and the five break points he did convert went on to help him secure the vital victory.
“Credit to Frances. He fought real hard and I managed to get a little bit lucky in the third set there with a couple of net cords and a couple of close calls,” Norrie said on the ATP’s website.
“I started the match great and then he came back firing straight away in the second set and then I just managed to hold onto my serve and tough out those games.
“Then he played a little bit tentative towards the end. Real fortunate to get through.”
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Norrie will face Sebastian Korda in the last four, after the 20-year-old displaced John Isner 6-3 4-6 6-3 in their quarter-final.
The 20-year-old, who is a former junior World No 1, was pleased with the demeanour he showed on court.
“Whenever I’m on court, my head is pretty clear and I’m a super positive guy on court,” he said to the ATP.
“I’m always in the moment and always super positive. There are very few times you’ll see any emotion come out of me that’s negative. I worked a lot on that during this break and it’s paying off right now.”
The other semi-final will take place between Christian Harrison and Hubert Hurkacz.
Harrison is another outsider who is enjoying an excellent run in the competition. He is ranked 789 in the world and has had to contend with eight surgeries during his career.
A 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 result against Gianluca Mager, in which he won 83 per cent of his first serve points, secured his semi-final place. The qualifier went into this tournament with just two tour-level singles victories to his name.
“It feels pretty amazing,” Harrison said on court after the match. “I’m just happy that I have everyone here, all my friends and family around that are here to support, especially here in Delray being so close to home.
“I’m feeling very good. I feel fresh, still. I think a couple of days off in between helped. One of the days off we only had one doubles, which was probably a good recovery anyway.”
Hurkacz is the fourth seed and the two men haven’t met each other before on the Tour. He prevailed over Ecuadorian Roberto Quiroz 6-34 6-4 in his quarter-final encounter.
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