Cameron Norrie had to rue an unusually flawed performance as his run at the US Open ended in a fourth-round loss to Andrey Rublev.
Norrie, who was once again the last British singles player to stand at a Grand Slam, was looking to continue his run to the Wimbledon semi-finals but fell short of his best with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 loss.
The 27-year-old has consistently excelled in the last two seasons, a tally of 35 unforced errors was unexpected, and he showed his frustration with a rare racquet hit in the third set.
Norrie said: “I felt like I started the game very well, very relaxed and played well and served well. I might have felt a little too relaxed and lacking in energy. I do not know why.
“I went through a phase in the second set, I didn’t hit my backhand, I was missing a lot. I didn’t like mistakes on my backhand side. I can usually rely on this site.
“I felt like Andrey really didn’t give me anything and he was very solid. All credit goes to him. Maybe the one time I had a chance I threw my racquet and ended up getting a little more energy and moving a lot better for the next 20 minutes.
“That was probably the best part of the game for me. It was good learning for me. But all credit to Andrey, he didn’t give me anything today and he deserved it more than me.”
This was a third meeting between the two, with Rublev winning their first match of 2020 but Norrie coming out on top in San Diego last year.
Both men play at the pinnacle of tennis, relying as much on determination, athleticism and a competitive spirit as they serve, forehand and backhand.
Norrie had vowed to play with an aggressive mindset against ninth-placed Rublev, who likes to play on the front foot, and he certainly went after his forehand in the early games.
But the backhand, his most reliable shot, let him down and Rublev broke serve in the ninth game of the opening set and then again early in the second.
Humidity was high and skies were darkening, but officials delayed closing the Louis Armstrong Stadium roof when heavy spit began to fall, meaning an extended pause while the pitch dried.
That didn’t change the momentum, however, and Norrie didn’t threaten a comeback until he vented his frustration after dropping serve again in the third set and slamming his racquet on the court, earning a rare caution.
He broke back with his best game of the game but dropped serve for a fourth time in the ninth game.
Speaking of the racquet hit, Norrie said, “Obviously, breaking racquets isn’t ideal. I do it very rarely. I was able to shift my energy and really lift afterwards.
“But whenever I had the momentum, I kind of didn’t stick with what I was doing long enough, which is disappointing.”
Rublev faces a sixth Grand Slam quarterfinal and a third-place finish in New York, while Norrie has his thoughts turning to leading Britain’s Davis Cup team in Glasgow next week.
Leon Smith’s side meet the USA, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands in Malaga at the end of the season in a bid for a place in the last eight.
Norrie said: “I’m really looking forward to Davis Cup and back with spectators and to play on the team that we have with so much experience. It will be my first time on the team with Andy (Murray) so I’m really looking forward to it.”
The 27-year-old is also hoping for a late call-up to the Laver Cup in London next week, while his main goal for the rest of the season is reaching the ATP Finals in Turin.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/cameron-norrie-andrey-rublev-new-york-british-wimbledon-b2160406.html Cameron Norrie turns attention to Davis Cup after ‘disappointing’ US Open exit