Tuesday 22 August 2017

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overwhelms British newcomer Cameron Norrie

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France plays a forehand during the Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Cameron Norrie of Great Britain on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France plays a forehand during the Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Cameron Norrie of Great Britain on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tom Allnutt

Cameron Norrie's first match at Wimbledon ended in defeat as the British wild card was outclassed by 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Norrie has taken time out from a sociology degree in Texas to play professional tennis this year but the 21-year-old was given a lesson by Tsonga, who cruised to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory.

Tsonga will now face either Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan or Italian qualifier Simone Bolelli in the second round.

Norrie was born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand and is now based in America but, with a Scottish father and Welsh mother, he was one of seven playing under the British flag on Monday.

But while his talent was obvious in the tournament's opening match on Court Two, Norrie proved too inconsistent to trouble Tsonga, the world number 10 and a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist.

In fact Norrie went toe-to-toe with the Frenchman early on but his concentration wavered at 3-3 in the first set, when a double fault and missed backhand volley cost him the break.

It seemed to knock the youngster's confidence because he was broken again at 5-3 as another forehand blazed wide and put Tsonga one set ahead.

The second and third sets were even more straightforward for Tsonga, who managed two more breaks in each without facing a single break point on his own serve.

Norrie once even held his hands out in resignation as another Tsonga ace flew by and his defeat was confirmed after an hour and 23 minutes when a final backhand hit the net.

Norrie admitted after the match he paid the price for lapses in concentration.

"I just lost a little bit of focus," he said. "I played one loose service game in each set and it cost me. I'm not used to playing guys at this level.

"It's a good learning experience and I will know next time to work on my concentration and my volleys a little bit."

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