Cameron Norrie told how to beat Rafael Nadal in ‘very tough’ Australian Open clash

Australian Open: Cameron Norrie reflects on round two win

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.

Cameron Norrie has been told his first serve must be on point and that he must look to “wear down” Rafael Nadal if he is to stand a chance of upsetting the Spaniard in the Australian Open third round. The last remaining Briton, male or female, in the year’s opening Grand Slam, Norrie takes on Nadal on Saturday morning UK time (not before 9.15am).

Norrie, the world No 69, has never previously faced a member of the ‘Big Three’, which consists of Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and has won a combined 57 Slams since Federer’s first at Wimbledon in 2003.

Second seed Nadal has breezed through his first two rounds against Serbian Laslo Dere and American Michael Mmoh as the 34-year-old looks to win the Australian Open for just the second time ever.

While 25-year-old Norrie, who was born in South Africa, has matched his best ever run at a Slam having reached the third round of the US Open last year.

But Eurosport’s Mats Wilander, the former world No 1 who was a three-time champion in Melbourne, expects Norrie’s run to come to an end against Spaniard Nadal at the Rod Laver Arena.

Wilander believes if Norrie is to stand any chance of shocking the 20-time Grand Slam winner, then he must be at his best with his first serves but has warned the fact he is left-handed plays into Nadal’s favour.

“This is going to be very hard for Norrie – because a leftie versus Rafa doesn’t help at all,” Wilander told Eurosport.

“You can’t serve out to his backhand with a slice serve because it goes straight into Rafa’s strength.

“You have to take the ball early, you have got to hit the ball flat which are some of things that Cameron Norrie does originally.

“I think there’s a chance there I guess, but Norrie has to serve a high percentage of big first serves to have any kind of chance against Rafa.

“I have been very impressed with Rafa in the two matches he has played. He’s playing close to the baseline, hitting the ball as hard as he is.


“He looks great, he is playing very aggressive. If Cameron Norrie is going to have any kind of chance against Rafa Nadal it’s definitely on this surface with this style that he plays.

“It’s a match that Rafa has to work hard to win but I don’t know if I see Norrie having enough weapons, except maybe [if he can] wear Rafa down and he could be suffering physically a little bit.”

Norrie is under no illusions about how tricky a task he has ahead of him, and admitted earlier this week that he was considering texting Andy Murray, who knows what it takes to down Nadal.

The Brit, a three-time Grand Slam winner, has seven wins against Nadal despite having also suffered 17 defeats, the duo managing a win apiece against each other at the Australian Open.

Norrie said: “I have watched Rafa so much over the years. So, yeah, I’m gonna leave that up to my coach and just he’ll get a good plan together.

“Yeah, maybe message Andy and see what his thoughts are. We play obviously pretty different, me being lefty, but, yeah, he’s definitely got some good tips in there.

“I think he’s [Nadal’s] obviously not really got many weaknesses, so I’m just gonna have to do what I do as well as I can and implement my game and try to play the points on my terms.

“Otherwise if he’s the one dictating, it’s gonna be tough and I’m gonna be running around a lot. It’s not gonna be easy.

“Regardless of the match or regardless of the situation, he’s gonna, I don’t know, even if he’s a huge favourite he’s always going to make sure and take care of his opponents.

Nick Kyrgios casts Wimbledon doubt after Australian Open exit
Australian Open overnight: Fans banned, Serena Williams through
Australian Open fans boo as they are ordered to leave Djokovic clash

“I think he’s just an unbelievable competitor. I think he’ll be successful in anything he does. Obviously very talented tennis player, too.

“But, yeah, I think his general mindset and his competitiveness is, I mean, probably the best in the world.”

On this being his first meeting with a member of the ‘Big Three’, Norrie added: “It’s unbelievable.

“I never thought I would play against them. I was kind of watching them when I was young and thinking it would be cool to play against one of them.

“But I thought it was never gonna happen. So it’s gonna be unbelievable and really looking forward to it and, yeah, it’s gonna be amazing.

“At the end of the day it’s just another tennis match and gonna enjoy it afterwards, and then go out there and do what I can and see what he’s got.”

Nadal meanwhile said of Norrie, who has defeated British No 1 Dan Evans and Russian Roman Safiullin so far this week: “He won two good matches. Winning against Evans – honestly I don’t know his opponent tonight. I don’t know him, but I know how good is Evans.

“He came to the tournament winning the week before, so Norrie was able to beat him. Lefty. Good player. He has experience on the tour already. Gonna be the toughest test, without a doubt.

“I need to be playing at high level if I want to keep having chances to be through. And I am looking forward to try to make that happen.”

On the line for Nadal and Norrie is a fourth-round clash with either the Italian world No 16 Fabio Fognini or 21-year-old home hope Alex de Minaur, ranked 21st in the world.

Source: Read Full Article