TennisSection previews the 2023 Auckland Open as Cameron Norrie takes on Jiri Lehecka in the second round on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
Cameron Norrie and Jiri Lehecka played with distinction at the United Cup for their respective nations. But they must now battle each other in a popcorn second-round match at the Auckland Open. Who will prevail?
Cameron Norrie has fond memories of the Auckland Open. He reached his first ATP final back in 2019, but lost to an in-form Tennys Sandgren in straight sets. Norrie has since come risen to become one of the most consistent performers on Tour, amassing four Tour-level titles and becoming the British No. 1. He is unbeaten in three matches already this year, winning all his singles rubbers at the United Cup. Can he keep his hot start going when he faces Czech fast-rising star Jiri Lehecka?
Jiri Lehecka, like Cameron Norrie, kicked off his year by playing at the United Cup. He was Czech Republic’s top-ranked male player and scored an eye-catching win over Top 10 player Alexander Zverev. Lehecka has gone through the qualifying hurdles at the Auckland Open after dropping down the ranking substantially. In the main draw, he earned a very good win over Thiago Monteiro – the Brazilian lefty who should serve up as the perfect prep before his showdown against Norrie.
Cameron Norrie leads Jiri Lehecka 1-0 in their head-to-head. Norrie won that clash in a Davis Cup singles rubber in 2021 in three sets. The Briton is yet to be beaten this year and has a great track record of playing his best tennis in this part of the continent. Lehecka has some pretty solid groundstrokes and will be a formidable challenger for the second seed. But we reckon Norrie’s versatility should give him the edge in this match at the Auckland Open.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Cameron Norrie in 3 sets.
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