Cameron Norrie is two wins away from capping a perfect start to the season with a title in New Zealand, the country where he was raised. Seeded second at the ASB Classic in Auckland, he improved to 5-0 on the year with a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 victory against Marcos Giron in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

Norrie has now won four straight three-setters dating back to his triumphs against Rafael Nadal and Taylor Fritz at the inaugural United Cup. But he was disappointed to have to play a deciding set after a fast start against Giron.

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“I came out firing and really was enjoying my level and playing well,” he assessed. “I made it really tricky for myself, played a loose game to start the second set. Just a lack of concentration. I was able to come back and then he played a better tie-break than me, he was more aggressive and he executed better. He deserved it. 

“Then I came out  [in the third set] and played kind of similar to the first set and took it to him, and exposed his backhand.”

Norrie improved to 2-1 in his ATP Head2Head against the World No. 60 Giron, with the American winning their previous meeting last year in Vienna.

The 27-year-old Norrie also lost a second-set tie-break in his Auckland opener against Jiri Lehecka before advancing with a strong finish. Now through to the semi-finals as the lone seeded player remaining in the ATP 250 draw, he will next take on Jenson Brooksby after the American held off the challenge of Quentin Halys to seal a 7-6(3), 7-6(2) quarter-final win.

The top half of the Auckland draw will feature an all-French semi-final after Richard Gasquet and Constant Lestienne both clinched comeback wins on Thursday. Gasquet put a slow start behind him to seal a 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory against David Goffin and reach the last four on tournament debut, while Lestienne clawed past Laslo Djere 2-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 to reach the second ATP Tour semi-final of his career.

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