Norrie: ‘Too relaxed, low energy’ in Rublev defeat

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NEW YORK — Cameron Norrie’s run at the US Open finished in the fourth round after he lost in straight sets to Andrey Rublev on Monday.

Norrie was aiming to become the first British player to reach the quarterfinals of the men’s singles since Andy Murray back in 2016, but in a rain-interrupted match, Norrie was left frustrated by unforced errors which saw him lose 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to Rublev in 2 hours, 26 minutes.

“I felt like I started the match very well, very relaxed and playing good, serving well.” Norrie said. “Yeah, I felt maybe a little bit too relaxed and too low energy. I don’t know why. I felt like Andrey gave me really nothing, and he was very solid. All credit to him.”

The match was a bizarre stop-start affair with two breaks in the second set due to rain. World No. 9 Norrie was already a set and a break down by that stage.

Rublev broke Norrie in the ninth game of the first set to take that 6-4, and then followed that up with a quick break in the second set to lead 3-2 against serve by the time the fifth game ticked around.

Rain had started to fall and play was paused to allow the roof on Louis Armstrong to be shut. But, despite the break, the roof remained open and play resumed. Just two games later, play was halted again. There was a 23-minute pause as the roof was shut and the court dried. Despite the pause, Norrie could not break Rublev back and it was the Russian who went two sets up.

“It was strange,” Norrie said. “They decided to keep it open, and they waited a little bit to dry the court, and then we played two games, two very quick games, and then suddenly, Oh, no, the rain’s come again. We had to wait again for the roof to close. Yeah, it is what it is.”

The third set was risking getting away from Norrie as he lost a break of serve in the fifth game, but it switched again in the sixth where Norrie broke back having been handed a warning for racket abuse after he slammed it to the ground following his 33rd unforced error of the match

That looked to galvanise Norrie as he then took the seventh to go 4-3 up. “I think that was the best game of the match,” Norrie said. “I played the only game I had chances really to break. So I felt like I was able to release a little bit. Obviously it’s not ideal to be breaking racquets and doing that. Yeah, I very rarely do it, so I was able to kind of snap and change my energy and really lift after that.”

But Rublev drew the set level in the next, and then secured three break points in the ninth. Norrie saved the first two, but couldn’t get close to a wonderful cross-court backhand from Rublev to give him the chance to serve for the match. And he dominated that final game as Norrie stuck a backhand into the net to see Rublev through to his third US Open quarterfinal where he’ll face Rafa Nadal or Frances Tiafoe.

“I think today was everything on my side,” Rublev said. “I played [a] really good match, consistent match. Plus Cameron maybe [in] all the important moments, when I need to make an ace or to make a first serve, always happen that I was making it.

“Every time that Cameron, he had a chance, every time he was missing or a beat or something I was playing good shots. Every important moment that something was happening, it was always to my side.”

The defeat means all of Great Britain’s players are out of the singles at this year’s US Open. Norrie was the last standing after Dan Evans fell in the third round to Marin Cilic, and Jack Draper was forced to retire hurt from his third round match with Karen Khachanov. On the women’s side, Harriet Dart reached the second round of the singles where she lost to Dalma Galfi while defending champion Emma Raducanu lost in the first round to Alize Cornet.

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