Cameron Norrie has stayed on track to win his "home" ATP Tour event by beating American Marcos Giron 6-1 6-7 (7-5) 6-2 in the ASB Classic quarter-finals in Auckland.
Norrie was born in South Africa but grew up in Auckland and was a regular spectator at the ATP event before his family moved to Britain. He was warmly supported by the crowd on centre court when his quarter-final finally began 2 1/2 hours late because of rain.
The second seed thrilled the fans by racing through the first set, breaking Giron's serve in the first, fifth and seventh games. But his first serve, which was reliable in the first set, became a little less so in the second and at the start of the third.
Giron broke Norrie in the first game of the second set but Norrie recovered the break in the fourth game. The set then went with serve until the tiebreaker in which Giron took the lead with a vital mini break on the ninth point.
"This tournament is kind of a second home for me," Norrie said. "I grew up here, coming from Bucklands Beach Tennis Club (in suburban Auckland), and its good to be back. Playing here is very special. I was a fan at this tournament so it's great to be playing on this court."
"Norrie is the last surviving seed. Top-seeded Casper Ruud was beaten in the second round on Wednesday.
Norrie's semi-final opponent will be another American, Jenson Brooksby, who beat Quentin Halys of France 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2). On the other side of the draw, Richard Gasquet beat David Goffin 1-6 6-1 6-1.