Cameron Norrie says he’s comfortable being favourite to progress to the next round of the French Open and can handle a different sort of pressure to his previous major matches.
The Scot beat Australian qualifier Jason Kubler in straight sets to progress to the third round, reaching that stage for the second year running.
Norrie was knocked out by 13-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal last year, but this time around he’s up against 21st seed Karen Khachanov. As tenth seed himself, that makes the 26-year-old the heavy favourite to get through and he admits it’s a different experience.
“I’ll take that every day of the week, being in this position and being the higher seed,” he said. “At the end of the day you have to deal with both situations.
“It’s always nice going into the match being the underdog when you can go out and play free and if you lose it’s alright. But for the most part over the last couple of years I’ve done okay being the favourite.
“It’s a different kind of pressure but I’m exactly where I want to be.”
Norrie hasn’t dropped a set in his first two matches at Roland Garros so far and went into the tournament straight off clinching his second ATP tour title of the season in Lyon.
Despite being in form, he says he’s well aware of Khachanov’s talents and the challenge he will face.
“I’m in the third round and I got matches under my belt last week and then played two clean matches to be through,” Norrie said.
“Karen plays very well here. He’s super comfortable in these conditions and his record is good here in Roland Garros.
“I think he’s made fourth round or quarters here before so he’s got a lot of experience. He’s been top ten and he’s playing well.
“It’s going to be tricky but I’m looking forward to the challenge but yeah, it’s nice not to face Rafa.”