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Norrie wins five-set battle at US Open

Cameron Norrie hits a return against Diego Schwartzman at the US Open
Cameron Norrie had been on the receiving end of five-set defeats in his previous two Grand Slam matches

Britain’s Cameron Norrie fought back from two sets down to earn a memorable win over Argentine ninth seed Diego Schwartzman on day one of the US Open.

Norrie, ranked 76th, looked set for a routine defeat before turning it around to win 3-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 7-5 in New York.

Both struggled to hold serve in a match with 58 break points, Norrie saving two match points in the decider before winning in almost four hours.

Later, Kyle Edmund plays Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik (around 22:30 BST).

The four other Britons in the singles – Andy Murray, Dan Evans, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson – play on Tuesday.

The US Open is the first Grand Slam event to be held since the coronavirus pandemic and is being played behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows.

A host of star names – including defending champions Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu – have withdrawn because of health and travel fears, while Swiss great Roger Federer is missing because of a knee injury.

‘I was lucky to get through’ – Norrie

British number three Norrie was handed a tough draw by starting against a consistent and competitive player who is a two-time quarter-finalist at the US Open.

The 25-year-old Briton struggled with his timing in the first two sets, hitting 34 unforced errors to leave himself with an uphill battle to reach the second round.

But he cut the mistakes to just five in the third set and, combined with Schwartzman becoming frustrated after receiving a time violation, threatened a comeback.

“The first two sets I was rushing everything and going for too much. I didn’t feel myself out there,” Norrie said.

“I felt he had done almost nothing to be two-sets-to-love up. I wanted to hit the ball down the middle, get some rhythm and then I kept the momentum going.”

Schwartzman struggled to get out of his rut in the fourth, two breaks of serve by the Briton taking the match into a decider, where the break points continued to flow.

Although world number 13 Schwartzman looked to be waning physically, he had chances at 5-3 and 5-4 to clinch victory before Norrie fought back again.

Norrie’s reward is another match against an Argentine opponent in the shape of 103rd-ranked Federico Coria.

“The tennis and the level wasn’t that great but I had a good attitude throughout and I was happy with that,” Norrie added.

“I’m lucky to get through that one. It was a tough one.”

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