Cameron Norrie in the quarter-final of the 2021 Barcelona Open, Spain
Cameron Norrie in the quarter-final of the 2021 Barcelona Open, Spain | (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Tennis | Roland Garros 2021 | Norrie bows out to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros

  • Rafael Nadal [3] def Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-3 6-3
PARIS, FRANCE – Cameron Norrie’s clay court season ended in a straight sets defeat to 13-time Rafael Nadal in the third round of Roland Garros.
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Rafael Nadal [3] def Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-3 6-3

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British interest in singles ended today as Cameron Norrie bowed out of Roland Garros in straight sets to 13-time champion Rafael Nadal.

The contest was mostly a competitive one with Norrie building on his terrific clay court season so far, standing forehand-to-forehand with the best clay court player of all time. In the first set a solitary break from Nadal was enough as in the sixth game he pounced on some passive Norrie play.

After closing out the first set, Nadal would then lose his service game not once but twice as Norrie looked fully pumped up as he took the match to the third seed, using some aggressive selection of shots. Unfortunately for the Brit, he only held onto his serve twice in the second set as Nadal rallied back dictating points with some deep returns. Breaking four times, Nadal took a two set to love lead.

More dominance from the Spaniard continued in the third set with a break in the fourth set securing the pivotal blow. On his second match point Nadal sealed his place in the last 16 and put an end to Norrie’s successful clay-court season.

After the match Norrie said it was a wonderful experience to play Nadal.

“I thought I played great. It was just — I don’t think I took enough risk. I think in that second set, a couple of backhand lines paid off and I managed to get up a break, and then he came back. Especially when I broke he came back in the next game in a different level, in a different energy.

“I thought I hit the ball well. I think in that third set I started doing a little bit more with the ball, especially on my forehand side, and managed to catch him back behind a couple times going to his forehand. All in all, I think great experience.” 

Nadal will now face Jannik Sinner on Monday in the last 16 while Norrie turns his attention to the grass court swing with his first tournament being at Queen’s Club on the 14th of June.


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