Rafael Nadal ‘too good’ as Cameron Norrie apologises for Australian Open loss to Spaniard

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Cameron Norrie said sorry for losing to Rafael Nadal as the last British singles player left the Australian Open on Saturday. The British No 3 fought hard before going down to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in an eerily empty Rod Laver Arena.

Norrie follows his first round victim Dan Evans, Jo Konta, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter and Fran Jones in falling in the first week in Melbourne.

The 25-year-old has been the best of British in the last two majors by reaching the third round. But no home player has reached the last 16 since Konta at the 2019 US Open.

And Norrie bowed out after his first ever meeting with one of the ‘Big Three’ against Nadal.

The world No. 69 said: “I think there are obviously a lot of good players and we’re pretty unfortunate not to have Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund over here as well to give ourselves a chance.

“The draw was pretty unfortunate this year. I played Evo the first round so that immediately took one of us out. Jamie Murray is in the second week of the doubles.

“It’s tough. I did everything to try to make the second week, and Rafa was too good today, so sorry I couldn’t be in the second week guys.”

Norrie added: “Always gonna be nice to play a big dog like Rafa.

“Just kind of a bit strange playing the other night on Thursday and such a great atmosphere and good crowd, and then coming out there on the biggest court with no one there and it was pretty dull. But I think I played okay.

“I was just a little bit disappointed with a couple of – some execution, especially in the first set, and he didn’t really have to work too hard to get that first set.

“Then I did well to hang in there in the third. But, yeah, all credit to him. He was just pretty proactive on his service games.


“Yeah, it was just a couple loose errors and I was right in there in the match, but it was, yeah, just bit disappointing with some loose errors there.”

Norrie wants to next play in Singapore and has no plans to return to the UK during the pandemic.

“I think it’s going to be tough for the British guys to go home at all, because as soon as you do that, that ten days’ quarantine, you’re going to lose a lot of momentum and a lot of your training and physicality,” he said.

“I was going to play tournaments and up until Miami (in March).”

World No 1 Novak Djokovic skipped practice on Saturday and remains a doubt for his clash with Milos Raonic on Sunday after suffering a muscle tear on his right side.

World No 2 Nadal said he had to improve after making 35 unforced errors in his 7-5 6-2 7-5 win over Norrie . But the French Open champion reported “less pain” in his injured back.

“Today is the first day that I started to serve again my normal serve,” said the Spaniard.

New men’s favourite Daniil Medvedev recovered from a mid-match meltdown which saw his coach walk out of the stadium before winning the first five-set match of his career.

The No.4 seed told Gilles Cervar to “leave me alone to play” during the fourth set before beating Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-0. The volatile Russian said: “It helped.”

Greek ATP Cup player Michail Pervolarakis has tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in South Africa from Australia.

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