After initially failing to adapt to the German’s game, Norrie increased the aggression in the second set as he recovered from a break down to win four games in a row and level the match at one set all.
The Brit made a poor start in the third set as he trailed by two sets to one before Norrie retaliated in the fourth set with a break in the tenth game as he levelled the match at two sets all.
In the final set both players had chances to win the match before the inevitable fifth set tiebreak would follow.
The tiebreak would see Norrie produce too many errors as Zverev produced deep powerful shots to hold his nerve and seal a place in the quarter-finals.
A tough defeat for Norrie to take as he was so close to a place in his second Grand Slam quarter-final with this match being the longest of Norrie’s career at four hours and nine minutes.
Despite the defeat it was a positive tournament for Norrie which saw the Brit achieve his best ever result at the Australian Open by reaching the fourth round.
Even though it’s the start of the season, it’s clear that there is a massive improvement in Norrie’s game since last year as a more aggressive style of play has been produced.
Speaking after the match Norrie admitted he is looking forward to the evolution of his game and described the defeat to Zverev as ‘disappointing.’
“It’s disappointing but I think it’s nice to know I’m just looking for ways to evolve my game,” Norrie told the Metro.
“I think Sascha (Zverev) is probably one of the best players in the world at the moment, and playing close with him and somewhat deep in a Grand Slam, losing in five sets, a few points in it, I think it’s exactly where I want to be.”
Norrie targets further learning ahead of Wimbledon
After a poor season last year, especially at the Grand Slams, Norrie will be delighted with how he has started this season as this should be a platform for bigger things to come in 2024.
This is only the start of Norrie’s development as he continues to grow as a player and fulfil his potential with the Brit aiming for more titles this season.
Now the next big goal for Norrie is to produce another big result at Wimbledon following his run to the semi-final in 2022.
Norrie spoke about how he can improve ahead of Wimbledon and reflected on how he learned from last season’s poor year.
“I think I can aim to get even better for Wimbledon,” Norrie optimistically told the Metro.
“I think it’s just a lot of learning when you are doing those plays and using the dropshot or coming forward. I think there’s still lots to come. I’m still 28 years old. I think you look at the longevity of the other players playing now, I think they’re getting better. I just want to keep learning and keep pushing and keep improving.
“I learned a lot last year and the years before. I know I’ve got the top 10 level in me. I want to just keep kind of taking steps towards that. I’m having fun playing.”
Norrie will hope to keep improving as he will look to produce a better result than his second round exit at last year’s Wimbledon.
Now the Brit will rest and reflect on what has been a great start to the season before competing at the ATP 250 event in Buenos Aires which starts on the 12th of February.
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