The 22-time Grand Slam champion struggled with his first serve, getting just 58 percent in, which ultimately cost him a first defeat to Norrie in their fifth meeting
Cameron Norrie and Rafael Nadal wears a dejected look after his defeat to Cameron Norrie on Saturday. Pics/AFP
Rafael Nadal lost his opening match of the season Saturday in the countdown to the defence of his Australian Open title, but women’s World No.1 Iga Swiatek cruised to victory at the United Cup. Nadal, who was also below-par at the season-ending ATP Finals in November, crashed to Britain’s 14th-ranked Cameron Norrie 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the mixed-teams tournament in Sydney.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion struggled with his first serve, getting just 58 percent in, which ultimately cost him a first defeat to Norrie in their fifth meeting. “It’s pretty crazy, I never won a set before [against him] so firstly I wanted to do that and I had to stay super patient,” Norrie said after the 2hrs 44mins battle at a packed Ken Rosewall Arena.
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In Brisbane, Swiatek got Poland off to the perfect start with a dominant 6-1, 6-3 win over Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva. She broke three times in the first set and twice in the second to completely overpower her opponent in just 64 minutes.
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