Norrie to face Gasquet in Auckland final

Cameron Norrie will play in the final of the ASB Classic for the second time in four years after beating American Jenson Brooksby 6-3 6-4.

Norrie was also a finalist in 2019 when he lost to American Tennys Sandgren.

He hasn't been able to return to New Zealand since because of pandemic travel restrictions and he has shown a determination to go one better than last time and win his "home" tournament.

Norrie was born in South Africa but raised in Auckland, where as a young spectator at the Classic he formed a desire to become a professional tennis player. He realised that ambition when his family later moved to Britain.

The 12th-ranked Norrie came into the tournament with form after beating Rafael Nadal at the United Cup in Australia and carried that through the tournament, beating Jiri Lehecka and Marcos Giron in three-setters on the way to Friday's semi.

Norrie broke to lead 4-2 in the opening set and held to take it in 48 minutes.

The British No.1 found himself under pressure at the start of the second when he dropped serve in his first service game.

He immediately broke back and broke again to lead 4-3, before clinching the match after 98 minutes on his third match point.

"It was 6-3 6-4 but it was an absolute battle," Norrie said.

"A lot of long rallies. He puts the ball in such awkward parts of the court and I had to come up with a lot of very tough shots on the run and a lot of big passes."

Norrie, into his 12th ATP Tour final, will face Richard Gasquet in Saturday's decider.

The French veteran reached the title match without having to take to the court after countryman Constant Lestienne withdrew ahead of their semi.

With PA.