British number one Cameron Norrie has reached the US Open fourth round for the first time.
The 27-year-old is continuing to live up to his top-10 ranking and kept 19-year-old Holger Rune at arm’s length during a 7-5 6-4 6-1 victory at Flushing Meadows in New York.
Norrie, who is the first Briton to reach the last 16 in New York this year, will next play Russian ninth seed Andrey Rublev or Canadian 19th seed Denis Shapovalov.
During the second set, Rune, already the highest-ranked Danish man in history and a French Open quarter-finalist this year, protested to the umpire about Norrie catching his ball toss before serving.
Players are allowed 25 seconds between points but the clock stops when the server throws up the ball, meaning catching the toss buys extra time to reset. Denmark's 28th seed Rune implied to the umpire he thought Norrie was deliberately exploiting a loophole in the rules, although he was more diplomatic in the press room later. “I think it’s a fine balance,” said the teenager.
“You have those 25 seconds and the umpire accepts that if you’re at one second and you do it you can let it go and take five, 10 seconds to bounce it again and then serve, and then you all of a sudden have 10 seconds. “It’s a bit annoying. I’m not controlling the rules but I think you can do it a couple of times but doing it 10, 15 times is maybe too much.” Norrie, whose run to the Wimbledon semi-finals was the first time he had gone beyond the third round at a slam, replied saying "I'm not doing it on purpose".
The pair had met twice before, with both matches going to a deciding set.
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