Steve’s ATP French Open Preview: Norrie vs Harris

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I feel the win from Lloyd Harris over Lorenzo Sonego in the first round looks to have been a little overrated when considering the form of both himself and Cam Norrie over the course of the clay season.

It has been an up and down clay season for Harris, who has had some injury issues earlier in the season. A third set tiebreak win over Grigor Dimitrov was the only win prior to Paris, with losses to Cecchinato, De Minaur (retired down a set and break) and Cristian Garin, without winning a set. Unless he is able to find an exceptionally high first serve percentage, or is able to serve well above average on all break point opportunities, across the course of this match with Norrie.

Norrie has had a very impressive 2021 clay season, taking some decent scalps along the way. Wins over Cuevas, Cecchinato, Carballes Baena, Moutet, Thiem, Rinderknech, Khachanov and Fratangelo, with losses to Tsitsipas, Davidovich Fokina and Ramos. He is delivering a very consistent level, and his ability to handle the pressure in key moments on the clay across the course of the clay season has impressed me.

The game handicap for Norrie here is incredibly appealing. He has the coverage and defensive skills, he matches up very well as a left hander to Harris, and has the clay form required to be able to confidently back him him today. If Harris puts a high percentage of first serves in play and keeps this close, or wins, then fair play to him. That being said, I am happy to take the form and overall match-up style edge for Norrie, and back him confidently at the game handicap.

Suggested Bet

3 units Norrie -5.5 games vs Harris at $2.15 at Topsport ($2.29 at Pinnacle)

Please note: Norrie is currently -3.5 games at Bet365 for $1.80, which would have been an even better selection. The -4.5 games that is around is lower than $1.80, so for the sake of accessibility and recording, I will record at the -5.5 games at the worst price available currently.

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