Norrie with head held high despite Britain's Davis Cup exit
Tennis

Norrie with head held high despite Britain's Davis Cup exit

05 February 2018 / 10:34

Cameron Norrie is a name British tennis fans won’t be forgetting in a hurry in the eyes of Davis Cup head coach Leon Smith.

His near-repeated heroics may not have done enough to win the Davis Cup tie but, with a reputation furthered and then some, the sky is the limit for the 22-year-old.

Two sets down and coming back to win in his debut rubber, this is a weekend Norrie won’t forget in a hurry – despite his Great Britain side losing 3-1 to Spain.

After singles and doubles defeats elsewhere he came close to repeating the trick in his second outing too, running a man nearly 100 places higher in the rankings in Albert Ramos-Vinolas close on the Spaniard’s home courts.

But ultimately a Britain side missing Kyle Edmund and Andy Murray fell short, though Smith’s attentions were only one man come the final point.

"I can't speak highly enough of what Cam has done all weekend," he said.

"People might have thought Friday was a one-off but he did it again against another high-quality player. He pushed him really close and I'm really proud of him.

“Physically and endurance wise he looks in good shape, he looks as though he can run all day and it will be a big thing for him if he can get more powerful in his strokes.

"Something like this can be a reference point of how far he can go. The only way is up for him."

The tie opened up with defeat for Britain in the singles, Liam Broady going down 6-3 6-4 7-6 to Vinolas, more than holding his own in a gritty display against the world No.21.

It seemed Norrie would follow him to a loss when two sets down to Roberto Bautista Agut, only to pull a rabbit out of the hat to level the tie with a 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 win.

The doubles team of Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot couldn’t match those achievements however, meaning Norrie had to win a second rubber to keep Britain in the tie.

Once again he produced some magic, including coming from 4-0 down and facing two set points at 5-2 to force a tie break in a set he eventually lost.

And the seven hours and 44 minutes he spent on court across two days proved to be too much in the end, going down 7-6 2-6 7-6 6-2 in Marbella.

That means Great Britain now face a September play-off, a match they need to win if they are to stay in the World Group in 2019.

Sportsbeat 2018

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