Smith praises Norrie in defeat

05 February 2018 01:16:03 GMTPlus10
Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Cameron Norrie has been the star for Great Britain in the Davis Cup first round but couldn't prevent defeat to Spain.

Norrie, the world number 114, performed heroics on Friday, coming from two sets down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut.

After Liam Broady's defeat in the opening rubber that brought the tie level at 1-1. However Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot lost in Saturday's doubles meaning that Norrie needed to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas to keep the tie alive.

People might have thought Friday was a one-off but he did it again against another high-quality player.

Leon Smith

He won the second set to level the match but eventually lost in four, 7-6 2-6 7-6 6-2 to give Spain a 3-1 lead and a place in the Davis Cup quarter-finals later in the year.

Norrie pushed Ramos-Vinolas all the way in the decisive third set, forcing him to a tie-break but, after losing it 7-4 he was unable to maintain the same standard in the fourth, the Spaniard winning it and making the fifth rubber unnecessary.

Britain therefore will face a play-off in December to determine whether they can keep a place in the World Group for next year.

So, the weekend might have ended in defeat but a team forced to cope without Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund performed creditably, especially Norrie whose comeback on Friday will live long in the memory.

Great Britain captain Leon Smith said Norrie's performance showed why he has a bright future in the game.

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

"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.

"The only way is up for him."

Meanwhile, Edmund is 66/1 to win the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year. Roger Federer is 1212/1 with Rafael Nadal, defending champion, priced at 2/5.

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