United Cup : Cameron Norrie stuns Rafael Nadal, Katie Swan beats Diaz as Team GB takes 2-0 lead against Spain
Sydney : Great Britain set themself up for their second win in Group D and a place in the next round at the United Cup by taking a 2-0 lead against the higher-seeded Spain here on Saturday.
Britain, who had started with a win against hosts Australia, set themselves up for the win, spurred on by comeback wins from Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan, 15th-seeded Great Britain took a stunning 2-0 lead over 4th-seeded Spain on Day 3 of the United Cup.
Thanks to Norrie upsetting Nadal, Team GB is now a win away from taking control of Group D, having defeated Australia 3-2 in their first match. Inspired by her compatriot’s efforts, No.145 Swan took to the court and tallied her first Top 100 win since defeating No.48 Sloane Stephens on the grass of Bad Homburg last summer.
The 23-year-old rallied from a set down to defeat No.70 Nuria Parrizas Diaz 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to tally her first United Cup win, said a report on the WTA Tour website. Norrie had never won a set in his four previous meetings against Nadal prior to their clash in United Cup.
However, on Saturday, the World No. 14 turned the tables in dramatic style when he overcame the 36-year-old 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a statement win to give Great Britain a 1-0 lead. “It was a great match,” Norrie was quoted as saying by the organisers on Saturday.
“At the beginning of the match, he was winning some of the tricky points. Him coming to the net and drop-shotting me. I managed to stay tough in the longer rallies and embraced the situation. I think by ranking it is the biggest win of my career.”
Norrie now holds a 2-0 record on the new season, having defeated Australian Alex de Minaur in his opening match at the new mixed-teams event. Great Britain, led by captain Tim Henman, won that opening Group D tie 3-2.
In an entertaining clash, Nadal showed great agility to cover the court in the first set, firing an array of stunning passing shots to move ahead. The 36-year-old, playing his first match since the ATP Finals in November, struggled to maintain his level as the match went on.
Norrie upped his intensity to outlast the Spaniard in brutal exchanges. The four-time tour-level champion gained the crucial break in the sixth game of the second set before he stepped inside the baseline to dictate the decider.
After breaking, Norrie saved two break points at 3-2, 15/40, before he held his nerve to seal the biggest win of his career by ATP Ranking. In the women’s singles, Parrizas Diaz came out firing in the first set.
With her forehand finding good length and speed through the court, the Spaniard rolled through the opening set with the help of 10 winners on her forehand side. The task now falls on Paula Badosa and Pablo Carreno Busta to level the tie on Sunday.
Playing in the No.1 position for Spain, Badosa will face Harriet Dart, looking to avenge her loss to the Brit at the Billie Jean King Cup last fall. Carreno Busta will face Daniel Evans. If the tie is level at 2-2 after singles, mixed doubles will determine the winner.
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