MADRID, Dec. 31 (.) –
The Spanish tennis players Rafa Nadal and Nuria Párrizas lost their matches against Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan this Saturday in the premiere of Spain in the new United Cup, against a team from Great Britain that has everything in their face to take this point –to the best of five duels– in Group D.
At the start of the new season, Rafa Nadal was unable to beat a stronger Cameron Norrie and, despite starting his debut well in this first edition of the United Cup (a mixed competition for countries prior to the Australian Open), he finally fell by 3-6, 6-3 and 6-4) in 2:45 hours of mourning.
Nadal, number 2 in the ATP ranking, could not beat Norrie (14) in an intense match in which the British went further, until ending the resistance of a man from Manacor still looking for his best rhythm before facing the first ‘Grand Slam’ of the season.
With a grown Norrie from the second set, motivated by not having previously been able to win a single set against Nadal in their previous four matches, the Briton managed to surprise and put Great Britain ahead on the court at the Ken Rosewall Arena.
“It was a great match. Early in the match I was winning some of the tricky points. I would go up to the net and drop. I managed to hold my ground in the longer rallies and I accepted the situation. I think by ranking it’s the highest victory of my career,” Norrie said after the crash, in statements provided by the tournament.
Norrie, who had just beaten Australian Alex de Minaur in his first match in this United Cup, beat Nadal in an entertaining duel that delighted the crowd that filled the court. But Nadal paid for his inactivity in tournaments, since he had not played since the ATP Finals in November.
Thus, Norrie increased the intensity of his game to overcome the Spaniard, with some very close exchanges of blows. Now with the match tied, in the third set Nadal made some mistakes, also on serve, and Norrie went up 3-2 with a ‘break’ that the man from Manacor could no longer recover.
For her part, Nuria Párrizas was unable to equalize in the tie when she fell to Katie Swan (world number 145) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. The Spaniard, number 70 in the WTA ranking, found herself surpassed by a Swan who took advantage of the vein of Norrie’s victory against Nadal.
Párrizas started the match very well and took the first set thanks to a long and fast forehand game. But the forcefulness of his game from the bottom of the court gradually dissipated, and he missed the 10 winning forehand shots of the first set for the rest of the match.
Swan turned the match around in two quick sets. He only made 4 unforced errors in the second set, and Párrizas only landed two forehand winners in the second set and, on the other hand, made 17 unforced errors that sentenced her. The tone was similar in the third and final set, with the young Swan (23 years old) going all out.
Great Britain, seeded fifteenth in the tournament, is already 2-0 up against Spain, seeded fourth, in this third round of the United Cup. The British team is now one win away from taking control of Group D, after defeating Australia 3-2 in their debut and being one win away from taking the pulse against Spain.
Now, only Paula Badosa and Pablo Carreño can turn the tables and try to give Spain the option of scoring 1-0 in the group. Badosa will face Harriet Dart, while Carreño will play Daniel Evans. If the tie is tied at 2-2 after the singles, the mixed doubles would determine the winner of this crossover.