‘I had to bring my best tennis to beat Rafael Nadal,’ says Cameron Norrie

Rafael Nadal won the opening four encounters against Cameron Norrie in straight sets. The Spaniard claimed the first set against the Briton at the United Cup but could not keep his perfect record. Norrie ousted Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 44 minutes for one of his career-best triumphs. Cameron was delighted with his performance in the decider, keeping his focus and bringing the victory home. Norrie saved five out of six break points and grabbed two breaks from 11 opportunities, enough to move over the top. The Briton tried to dictate the pace and control the rallies, playing well in the crucial moments to topple a 22-time Major winner. Rafa served well in the opener and grabbed a break that pushed him in front. The returners had no chances in the first five games before Cameron missed a game point at 2-3. Rafa grabbed a break with a forehand crosscourt winner that pushed him in front.

Rafael Nadal lost to Cameron Norrie in three sets at the United Cup.

The Spaniard saved a break point with a forehand winner in the next one and brought it home after deuces. Nadal served for the set at 5-3 and fired a service winner to secure it in 52 minutes. The second set offered five commanding holds, and Norrie settled into a fine rhythm behind the initial shot. It gave him a boost to push hard on the return, and he created three break chances at 3-2. Nadal denied them and defended the fourth break point with a service winner. Cameron seized the fifth break opportunity after Rafa’s loose backhand to open a 4-2 gap. The Briton defended a break point in the next one with a service winner and created two set points on the return at 5-3. Nadal saved them and held to prolong his chances. Norrie held in game nine to wrap up the set and introduce a decider after an hour and 37 minutes.

The final set lasted over an hour, and Cameron prevailed with a single break. Rafa saved a break point in game three with an unreturned serve and faced more troubles two games later. A 22-time Major winner fell behind when Norrie cracked a backhand down the line winner that pushed him 3-2 up. Cameron saved two break points in the sixth game to cement the advantage and move closer to the finish line. The Briton saved another break point in game eight with a forehand winner and served for the victory at 5-4. Norrie landed a forehand down the line winner for a hold at love and his first victory over Nadal.

“I had to play unreal to beat Rafa. I played almost perfect tennis in the decider. My whole game came together, and it was just enough to beat him. Rafa has recently lost a couple of matches, which makes him even more dangerous. He is fresh and feels good on the court. It will not be a surprise if Rafa can embrace a mad run and produce an unreal level. The way he competes is amazing, and Jack will have to work hard to stand a chance,” Cameron Norrie said.