SYDNEY, Dec 31 — Rafa Nadal’s preparations for his Australian Open title defence got off to a wobbly commence as Cameron Norrie handed him a 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat in the United Cup on Saturday to give Britain a 1- lead more than Spain in the combined staff tournament.
The 22-instances Grand Slam winner, who lifted the trophy in Melbourne Park this yr and included an additional French Open up title in an otherwise injury-ravaged season, eased by way of the first set but gifted Norrie a way back into the contest in the up coming.
Nadal dug himself out of a gap with an ace to keep for 2-1 in the decider but surrendered his serve shortly immediately after as entire world range 14 Norrie bought sharper as the contest wore on and held on for the initially win about the planet quantity two in five attempts.
“It was really outrageous… I was thinking I have by no means received a set versus him prior to and I desired to come out and for starters do that and I experienced to stay tremendous affected individual,” Norrie said in his on-courtroom interview. “It was a tremendous bodily match.
“I genuinely appreciated it, it was enormous to get by way of that a single and eventually conquer him. It is a excellent way to close the calendar year.”
Norrie credited his pre-period education for currently being in a position to dictate the baseline exchanges at Ken Rosewall Arena.
“I’ve experienced a seriously fantastic off period, performed a good deal of matches and it is been fantastic for me. I felt like I was acquiring seriously very good depth in my shots and dictated the participate in… I wasn’t letting him do much too much injury with his forehand,” Norrie added.
Women’s globe range one Iga Swiatek experienced no issues in her period opener as she dismantled Yulia Putintseva 6-1 6-3 to give Poland a 1- lead over Kazakhstan in Brisbane.
Previously, Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka claimed the most significant win of his career by stunning entire world selection 12 Alexander Zverev 6-4 6-2, ahead of Marie Bouzkova beat Jule Niemeier 6-2 7-5 to give her group a 2- direct in excess of Germany.
Playing in his very first aggressive match because surgical procedures to resolve his ankle ligaments adhering to an injury at Roland Garros, Zverev looked small of health and struggled on his provide with 8 double faults to go down.
Brazil took a 2- direct in excess of Norway as Beatriz Haddad Maia and Felipe Meligeni Alves sealed relaxed wins. Belgium and Bulgaria ended up locked at 1-1. — Reuters