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Cameron Norrie wins Battle of the Brits against Andy Murray in Cincinnati
The Wimbledon semifinalist rallied from a set down to defeat his countryman for the first time at the Western & Southern Open.
Published Aug 17, 2022
WATCH: Norrie joined the TC Live Desk after his three-set win over Murray.
Less than 24 hours after Emma Raducanu won a torch-passing match against soon-to-be retired Serena Williams, Cameron Norrie won a generational clash of his own against Andy Murray, defeating the two-time Western & Southern Open champion, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Battle of the Brits opened Center Court action on Wednesday and unfolded with high drama as Murray, 35, edged through the opening set but couldn’t sustain his early momentum. Norrie, 26, ultimately advanced after two hours and 36 minutes.
Murray and Norrie last faced off at the pre-pandemic China Open of 2019, where Murray, who was still coming back from an almost career-ending hip injury navigated a second-set hiccup to beat a then-unknown Norrie in three.
In the three years since, Norrie has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the ATP rankings, highlighted by 10 finals and four titles, a breakthrough victory at the BNP Paribas Open and maiden major semifinal at Wimbledon last month.
"He's certainly improved, I would say, all around, his game," Murray said of Norrie after the match. "He's returning a bit better, serving a bit better, a little bit more on his shots from the back of the court and just gradually improved his game to a level where he's playing right at the top of the game now."
Seeded No. 9 in Cincinnati, Norrie overcame an initial break deficit but Murray, who needed nearly three hours to dispatch Stan Wawrinka on Monday, was undaunted and scored a pivotal break in the eighth game to serve out the opening set.
Norrie responded in kind late in the second set and rallied from 0-40 down to force a tense decider as Murray required treatment on his legs for cramping.
"I think pretty much every tennis player in their career has cramped usually in these sorts of conditions that we have had and sort of Newport, Washington, and here," Murray said.
"But the consistency of it for me is a big concern. You know, it's not something that I have really experienced. I have experienced cramping but not consistently like over a number of tournaments. Yeah, big concern for me, because it's not easy to play when it gets bad like it was at the end. I feel like it had an impact on the end of the match."
Though Murray saved two break points in a marathon sixth game, Norrie continued to press from the back of the court and nabbed the initiative at 4-4, ultimately securing victory on his first match point.
After leaping to victory, Norrie gave a shoutout to his alma mater, Texas Christian University, writing "Go Frogs!" on the camera lens.
In all, the left-handed Norrie played a far cleaner match than his veteran opposition, striking 39 winners to just 27 unforced errors—Murray, by contrast, made 37 winners but 38 errors—and gamely defended his second serve, winning 48% of those points while Murray was left with a 34%-win percentage for his own.
For Murray, positives abound out of this week given his struggles in Washington, D.C. and Montréal, but it was another missed opportunity for a statement win and will enter the US Open, a tournament he won 10 years ago, unseeded.
In a quarter with No. 3 seed Carlos Alcaraz, Norrie will next face either No. 5 seed Casper Ruud or American wildcard Ben Shelton, who scored his first Top 100 victory earlier this week against Lorenzo Sonego.