Norrie Clinches Statement Nadal Win
Cameron Norrie had never won a set in his four previous meetings against Rafael Nadal prior to their clash at the United Cup. However, the World No. 14 turned the tables in dramatic style Saturday when he overcame the 36-year-old 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a statement win to give Team Great Britain a 1-0 lead against Team Spain in Sydney.
In front of a capacity Ken Rosewall Arena crowd, the 27-year-old timed the ball cleanly off both wings, hitting through Nadal with his flat backhand to triumph after two hours and 45 minutes.
Norrie now holds a 2-0 record on the new season, having defeated Australian Alex de Minaur in his opening match at the new mixed-teams event. Great Britain, led by captain Tim Henman, won that opening Group D tie 3-2. Katie Swan will aim to double her nation’s lead when she faces Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the last match of the day in Sydney.
In an entertaining clash, Nadal showed great agility to cover the court in the first set, firing an array of stunning passing shots to move ahead. The 36-year-old, playing his first match since the Nitto ATP Finals in November, struggled to maintain his level as the match went on. Norrie upped his intensity to outlast the Spaniard in brutal exchanges.
The four-time tour-level champion gained the crucial break in the sixth game of the second set, before he stepped inside the baseline to dictate in the decider. After breaking, Norrie saved two break points at 3-2, 15/40, before he held his nerve to seal the biggest win of his career by Pepperstone ATP Ranking, letting out a roar.