|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 29 August-11 September|
|Coverage: Daily radio commentaries across BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentaries and match reports on the website and app|
British number one Cameron Norrie reached the US Open fourth round for the first time with a composed victory over Denmark’s 28th seed Holger Rune.
Norrie maintained focus to win 7-5 6-4 6-1 after Rune, 19, complained the Briton was taking too much time to serve by aborting his ball toss.
Seventh seed Norrie plays Russian ninth seed Andrey Rublev in the last 16.
Dan Evans could not join him after a 7-6 (13-11) 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 7-5 loss in four hours to 15th seed Marin Cilic.
“It is nice to be through in straight sets and not really playing my best tennis leading in to it,” said Norrie, who has not dropped a set this week.
“I felt I definitely improved from my previous matches and I managed to stay way calmer than he was in the bigger moments.
“I don’t know what was going on with him.”
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Norrie made his Grand Slam breakthrough with a memorable run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in July and, after another straight-set victory in New York, is quietly working his way through the US Open draw.
The 27-year-old left-hander, who was still ranked 74th in the world at the start of 2021, had never progressed past the third round at a major before his performance at the All England Club.
“Ticking that box to make the second week for the first time was huge for me. It was a big goal of mine to play well at Slams and play deep in Slams and to have these match-ups,” he said.
“I think it does help going into the tournament, being ranked where I am, being seeded where I am.”
Norrie is the only British singles player left in the tournament after 20th seed Evans was beaten by Croatia’s Cilic, who won the title in 2014.
In the men’s doubles, Briton Neal Skupski and Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof, seeded second, beat Americans Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to reach the last 16.
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Norrie stays tough amid Rune drama
Calm assurance on the court is one of Norrie’s key strengths and this was another example of him locking in to get the job done without any fuss.
Rune, who is already earning a reputation for creating drama, began to get tetchy towards the end of the second set as his frustrations at the match slipping away from him grew.
After spurning a break point as Norrie tried to serve out the second set at 5-4, Rune became agitated by the Briton stopping during his ball toss.
He remonstrated with umpire Timo Janzen, claiming Norrie was doing it with “four, five, six” seconds left on the 25-second shot clock and suggesting there should be a code violation issued to his opponent.
Rune said it was a “bit of a distraction”, but did not think Norrie was doing it deliberately. Norrie later said he was not doing it on purpose.
“It is a bit annoying but I am not controlling the rules. I think you can do it a couple of times but 10-15 times is maybe too much,” said Rune.
Norrie ignored the issue and eventually served out for a two-set lead, before racing through the third in 29 minutes.
Evans out after marathon effort against Cilic
Evans was aiming to match his run to the fourth round in New York last year, which is the joint furthest he has ever been at one of the sport’s four majors.
The 32-year-old has spoken about his liking for the North American hard-court swing, but to reach the last 16 again he faced a tough task against big-serving Cilic.
The former world number three has performed consistently well on the New York hard courts over the years – apart from a first-round exit last year when he retired injured – and also reached the French Open semi-finals this season.
Evans was unable to take any of three set points in an intense opening tie-break where both players had numerous chances, before 33-year-old Cilic eventually got over the line with his seventh opportunity of the set to close it out after 81 minutes.
“It was a tough match and Marin probably played a bit better than me. I missed chances in the first and you never know what happens if you win the first set,” said Evans.
There was also a bizarre moment when the Briton complained to the umpire about a heckler and many of the crowd chanted for the man to be kicked out.
The fan was not removed by security but left of his own accord a few games later.
“He was ruining everybody’s day really. He was rude to Marin and then to me,” said Evans.
“It was better for everyone he left because there were kids around and his language wasn’t great. The match actually took off when he left.”
Evans, ranked 23rd in the world, recovered well from the disappointment of not winning the first set to break early in the second and, after Cilic fought back, raised his game again to edge another decided by a tie-break.
Cilic upped his standard in the third to a level which befitted his status as a former champion, leading Evans to say his opponent was “hitting every single line”.
The Briton stayed in touch in a more even fourth but had to save a match point at 5-4 when his serve came under real pressure for the first time in the set.
Then Cilic pounced on Evans’ serve again at the next opportunity. A double fault put the Croat 30-0 ahead and he completed victory in three hours and 59 minutes when Evans pulled a forehand wide on the second match point.
“He served well and it was heavyweight versus lightweight in terms of serving,” said Evans. “It was difficult to put pressure and when I did he was unreturnable. He was too good.
“It’s frustrating I played a guy who is very good here and has won the tournament, he played like he probably was playing then.”
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