Cameron Norrie in the second round of the Nature Valley International, ATP Eastbourne 2018
Cameron Norrie in the second round of the Nature Valley International, ATP Eastbourne 2018 | (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)

Tennis | ATP Barcelona 2021 | Norrie sets up Nadal quarter-final meeting

  • Cameron Norrie def. David Goffin [8] 6-0, 3-5 (ret)
  • Cameron Norrie v Rafael Nadal [1] | Nadal leads H2H 1-0
BARCELONA, SPAIN – A David Goffin retirement saw Cameron Norrie through to the last eight, where he will face Rafael Nadal.


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Cameron Norrie def. David Goffin 6-0, 3-5 (ret)

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Cameron Norrie is through to his third quarter-final of the season courtesy of a David Goffin retirement. The Belgian was forced to halt play down a set, but up 5-3 in the second.

The Brit started the match extremely well, winning the first set to love as he played at a near-perfect level. The eighth seed did manage to get back into the contest before his body ultimately failed him.

Goffin is now on an 11-match losing streak to British players – dating back to the 2015 Davis Cup Final.


Cameron Norrie v Rafael Nadal [1] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Cameron Norrie v Rafael Nadal [1] H2H: Nadal leads H2H 1-0
ATP Barcelona Barcelona, Spain
Clay Prize Money: €42,180
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Norrie will face the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, on Pista Rafa Nadal for a spot in the semi-finals.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)

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H2H: Cameron Norrie (WR: 58) Rafael Nadal [1] (WR: 3)
Tournament Previous Best Round of 64 (2019) Champion (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018)
1st Serve % 66 66
Service Games Won % 77 87
Break Points Saved % 57 62
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 53 57
Break Points Converted % 42 44

As we can see, Norrie does not have a better record than Nadal in any of these key departments. The big statistic here is the service games won, which is huge for the 34-year-old. The World No. 3 also dominates points on his opponent’s second serve so expect it to be an uphill battle for the Brit.


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Playing Styles

The Spaniard is the greatest clay court player of all time. You will not find a single expert disputing that claim and for good reason. We all know the amount of top spin and power Nadal can generate on his forehand and that shot is the one that proves to be so successful on clay. The 34-year-old can dominate points off that wing, often forcing his opponents deep behind the baseline before hitting a drop shot winner or rushing the net.

The backhand isn’t bad either and has become a real weapon for Nadal over the past few seasons. The Spaniard doesn’t seem to have a single weakness as his full repertoire of shots combine for a winning clay court formula. Add superb court coverage to the mix and you have an opponent that is almost impossible to defeat.

Norrie is about to go up against the toughest challenge in tennis – and he will relish it. The Brit loves a fight and will look to go toe-to-toe with the 11-time champion. Expect a lot of lengthy rallies with Norrie on the back foot, something he is more than happy to do.



On paper, this match screams a Nadal victory. However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has be forced into a deciding set in both of his matches this week, so there is a slight chance. That being said, Nadal should come through as he peaks towards the end of clay court events.

Prediction: Nadal in straight sets.


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