Cameron Norrie wasted little time kick-starting his Internazionali BNL d’Italia campaign on Friday morning in Rome.

The World No. 13 required just 74 minutes to down Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-3 for a confidence-boosting second-round win at the ATP Masters 1000 event. Norrie entered the match with a modest 2-3 record on the European clay so far this year but the Briton fired 20 winners and converted three of his seven break points to overcome the No. 100-ranked Muller.

The 27-year-old Norrie, who defeated Carlos Alcaraz to lift his fifth ATP tour title in Rio de Janeiro in February, now takes on Marton Fucsovics as he bids for back-to-back main-draw victories in the Italian capital for the first time in four attempts.

Fucsovics will be looking to upset a seeded opponent for the second straight match after he took out 17th seed Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-4. Norrie leads the Hungarian 4-0 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, including two wins on clay.


Also on Friday, Alexei Popyrin completed a hat-trick of Top 10 wins for 2023 after he upset World No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in a three-hour, 17-minnute epic on Grand Stand Arena.

A pulsating encounter in which Auger-Aliassime struck 38 winners and Popyrin hit 36 tilted the Australian qualifier’s way after he sealed the only break of the deciding set in the 11th game with a stunning backhand pass. Popyrin then held his nerve behind serve to book a third-round spot on main-draw debut in Rome, where he will next face 22nd seed Sebastian Korda or Roman Safiullin.


Popyrin takes out No.10 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in a 3 hour clash 6-4 4-6 7-5!@InteBNLdItalia | #IBI23

— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 12, 2023

In January, Popyrin also beat Auger-Aliassime (then No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings) in Adelaide before he downed Taylor Fritz (then No. 9) at the Australian Open. Friday’s win moved the 23-year-old to 3-0 against Top 10 opponents this season.

Francisco Cerundolo was another three-set winner early on the Friday schedule at the Foro Italico. The Argentine trailed Wu Yibing 0-2 in the deciding set but rallied to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 triumph to advance. It was a first main-draw win in Rome for the 24-year-old, who next takes on 11th seed Karen Khachanov or Gregoire Barrere.

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