Cameron Norrie beats Jenson Brooksby to reach Auckland final

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Cameron Norrie will play in the final of the ASB Classic for the second time in four years after beating American Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-4 in a semifinal.

Norrie also was a finalist in 2019 when he lost the championship match to American Tennys Sandgren.

He hasn’t been able to return to New Zealand because of pandemic travel restrictions and he has shown a determination to go one better than last time and win his “home” tournament.

Norrie was born in South Africa but raised in Auckland where as a young spectator at the Classic he formed a desire to become a professional tennis player. He realized that ambition when his family later moved to Britain.

The 12th-ranked Norrie came into the Auckland tournament with form after beating Rafael Nadal at the United Cup in Australia and carried that through the tournament, beating Jiri Lehecka and Marcos Giron in three-setters on the way to the semifinal.

Brooksby won his first serve to love, then often was under pressure to hold. He held for 2-2 in the first set after the longest game of the match in which Norrie had four break points. Norrie then broke to lead 4-2 and held to take the first set in 48 minutes.

Norrie found himself under pressure at the start of the second set when he dropped serve in his first service game.

He immediately broke back and broke again to lead 4-3. Norrie had his first match point at 5-4 on Brooksby’s serve and needed two more match points on his own serve before he clinched the match after 98 minutes.

Right-handed Brooksby fell heavily on his left wrist during the second set and needed a timeout while the wrist was strapped.

“It was 6-3, 6-4 but it was an absolute battle,” Norrie said. “A lot of long rallies. He puts the ball in such awkward parts of the court and I had to come up with a lot of very tough shots on the run and a lot of big passes.

“I was able to hold onto my serve there at the end and I hope he’s OK.

At French Open, Francisco Cerundolo is mad at chair umpire over Holger Rune’s double-bounce

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PARIS – Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was devastated about losing his French Open fourth-round match to Holger Rune of Denmark in a fifth-set tiebreaker Monday. He also was mad at chair umpire Kader Nouni for missing a double-bounce of the ball on a point that was awarded to Rune early in his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory.

They were tied at a set apiece and on serve at 2-1 for the No. 6-seeded Rune early in the third at Court Suzanne Lenglen when the point of contention happened. Cerundolo, who was serving at deuce, hit a forehand that skidded low at the baseline and quickly bounced a second time – which normally would have meant that the point was his.

But Rune went ahead and got his racket on the ball, sending it back over the net. At about the same time, No. 23 seed Cerundolo was saying “sorry” to apologize for the odd way his forehand made the ball skim across the clay. Nouni was not immediately aware of the double-bounce, thought the ball was still in play and called Cerundolo for hindrance for talking during a point. That meant Rune got the point, and when he won the next one, too, he had a service break.

“It was unbelievable, because it was a clear double-bounce. I was mad at the umpire because he has to see it,” Cerundolo said. “It’s his fault.”

In tennis, electronic line-calling is used at many tournaments to make line calls, but replays are not used to check things like double-bounces or whether a point should be lost because a player touches the net, which is not allowed.

And while Cerundolo put the onus on the official, he also thought Rune could have ceded the point because of the double-bounce.

“For sure, I wish he would have done that, because it was a big moment,” Cerundolo said.

Rune, who moved into a matchup against No. 4 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, said he saw a replay after the following point, and “saw it was a double bounce. But the point already happened, and he called the score. So I felt sorry.”

But, Rune added: “This is tennis. This is sports. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me; some for him. That’s life.”

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

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PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.