Norrie Levels Great Britain’s Tie Against United States
Cameron Norrie delivered a vital victory for Team Great Britain on Wednesday when he clawed past Taylor Fritz 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to level his nation’s City Final tie against Team United States at 1-1.
The pressure was on Norrie after American Madison Keys defeated World No. 145 Katie Swan 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the opening match on Day 7 in Sydney. However, the World No. 14 was not fazed, playing consistently from the baseline to move past Fritz after two hours and 15 minutes on Ken Rosewall Arena.
Norrie successfully soaked up Fritz’s aggressive hitting and demonstrated his supreme fitness levels in the decider, outlasting the World No. 9 to improve to 3-0 on the new season. With his victory, the 27-year-old levelled his ATP Head2Head series against Fritz at 6-6.
The tie continues later today when Jessica Pegula faces Harriet Dart. Frances Tiafoe will play Daniel Evans in the fourth singles tie.
If the teams are locked at 2-2 after singles, the match will come down to mixed doubles, which is scheduled to showcase Pegula and Tiafoe against Dart and Evans.
The winner of the tie will advance to the United Cup Final Four, which commences in Sydney on Friday. The best runner-up from across the three City Finals will also progress to the Final Four.
Great Britain has served as a fantastic underdog foil at the United Cup, having tallied upset wins over Australia and Spain in group play. Swan looked keen to continue the trend early, as she jumped on a slow-starting Keys to take the opening set.
The big-serving American bounced back quickly to take the second set but could not hold on to an early lead in the decider. Swan broke back to 3-3 in the third set off a shakey double fault from the American, and it appeared as though Tim Henman's squad had regained the momentum for good.
But Keys showed her experience in the end. She played a disciplined and patient return game to break Swan one final time to 5-4 and coolly served out the win after two hours and 18 minutes.
Norrie and Fritz then entered the stage and served up an intriguing battle in the latest chapter of their rivalry. Both turned to their Team Zones throughout the clash for support, while they played at a high level, ripping the ball off both wings to pin each other back. With little to separate them, it was Norrie who found a way, gaining the decisive break in the ninth game of the third set before closing out on serve.