United Cup: Cameron Norrie defeats Rafael Nadal to give Britain a 1-0 lead

Rafael Nadal lost his opening match of the season to Britain's Cameron Norrie 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the United Cup in Sydney on Saturday

author-image
Payal Debnath
New Update
United Cup: Cameron Norrie defeats Rafael Nadal to give Britain a 1-0 lead | Sportz Point

Rafael Nadal lost his opening match of the season to Britain's Cameron Norrie 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the United Cup in Sydney on Saturday to give Britain a 1-0 lead over Spain in the mixed team tournament.

Also Read: Novak Djokovic will begin his Australian Open title campaign at the Adelaide International

United Cup: Cameron Norrie defeats Rafael Nadal to give Britain a 1-0 lead | Sportz Point

Image- The Peninsula Qatar

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was also below-par at the season-ending ATP Finals in November. Nadal struggled with his first serve, getting just 58 percent in. This ultimately cost him a first defeat to Norrie in their fifth meeting. Nadal dug himself out of a hole with an ace to hold for 2-1 in the decider. But he surrendered his serve shortly after world number 14 Norrie got sharper as the contest wore on and held on for the first win over the world number two in five attempts.

However, there was little to separate them in the opening games of the United Cup, with a first break point in game six for Nadal. But Norrie saved with a half-volley. Nadal's relentless pressure earned him a second and this time the Spanish world number two converted with a searing cross-court forehand before methodically closing out the set in 52 minutes.

But his poor first-serve was an issue and he was broken to go 4-2 behind in the second set. He saved two set points but Norrie nailed a third on his serve to level at one set-all. Nadal fired consecutive double faults to open set three. And while he recovered to hold, his serve once more deserted him in the fifth game. After that, Norrie broke Nadal and the 36-year-old couldn't find a way back.

Also Read: Rafael Nadal, Iga Swiatek become ITF World Champions for 2022

"It was pretty crazy... I was thinking I've never won a set against him before and I wanted to come out and firstly do that and I had to stay super patient. It was a super physical match. I really enjoyed it, it was huge to get through that one and finally beat him. It's a great way to end the year." Norrie said in his on-court interview.

Rafael Nadal