Wimbledon: Cameron Norrie says he was 'disappointed' with loss
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Cameron Norrie will always remember Saudi Arabia as the site of one of his biggest feats after he beat both Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday. The British No. 1 advanced to the semi-finals of the Diriyah Tennis Cup—held just outside the Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh—following back-to-back wins over two of the elite stars in men’s tennis.
The world No. 14 made relatively light work of Kyrgios as he sailed to a 10-6, 10-6 win in the first round. Normal-set service resumed for his second-round duel against Tsitsipas, but Norrie again proved too much as he sailed through 6-4, 6-4.
“I got some really good rhythm this morning, but it wasn’t easy coming back out,” he told Eurosport after beating two top-tier opponents in quick succession. “I reckon I will sleep pretty well tonight after that one!”
Kyrgios had triumphed in one of his three previous encounters with Norrie and is currently ranked 22nd by the ATP. World No. 4 Tsitsipas is also unable to boast a winning record over Britain’s adopted star, with the pair poised on one win apiece in competitive matches.
Norrie’s reward for besting both players is a semi-final showdown against Taylor Fritz, who downed Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets to advance. The other final-four fixture will be contested by Daniil Medvedev and Stanislas Wawrinka.
Wawrinka, 37, has as much reason as Norrie to be feeling the strain in Saudi Arabia. The Swiss star was the first player to register two same-day wins at the Diriyah Tennis Cup after he beat both Matteo Berrettini and Russia’s Andrey Rublev on Thursday.
While the competition may be classed as an exhibition, the structure of the Diriyah Tennis Cup has attracted plenty of attention ahead of the 2023 campaign. Norrie is looking to build momentum and scale new heights after reaching his maiden major semi-final at Wimbledon this year.
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“Most of my pre-seasons, I never get the chance to play proper matches in stadiums and that will definitely help me,” added the 27-year-old. “I want to start the season well and I wanted to mix it up and there was no better place to do that than here. I am really enjoying the conditions, the tennis and the atmosphere so thanks to those that have come out.”
The South Africa-born, New Zealand-raised talent is targeting a career-best run at the Australian Open, where he bowed out of the third round in 2021. Norrie has fallen at the first hurdle of his three other appearances in Melbourne’s main draw, but his recent exploits in Diriyah suggest his prospects are looking up.
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