By Ros Satar, in Glasgow
- Jurabek Karimov def. Cameron Norrie 0-6 5-7 7-6(8) 6-2 6-2
- Great Britain are Uzbekistan are tied 1-1 at the end of Day One
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – Cameron Norrie was stunned by Jurabek Karimov in the second rubber to leave Great Britain and Uzbekistan level at the end of Day One of the Davis Cup World Group Play-off.
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Jurabek Karimov def. Cameron Norrie 0-6 5-7 7-6(6) 6-2 6-2
Although it could be argued that Uzbekistan’s Jurabek Karimov was slightly more experienced in terms of turning out for his country, his third appearance (in only his second live rubber) started pretty inauspiciously as British No. 2 Cameron Norrie ripped through the opening set 6-0 in just 16 minutes.
Hopes were rightly high that this could be a rout that put Britain in control of the tie, but for the fact that Karimov had other ideas in the second set. Settling down to the conditions, he and Norrie traded four breaks before Norrie put himself in the driving seat for a 5-3 lead with a third break.
However, Karimov was warming to the task breaking once more to level at 5-5 once more before Norrie came out on top of another brace of serves to take the second set. First blood went to the Brit at the start of the third set with Karimov looking a lot more dialled in, breaking Norrie once more to level at 4-4, before holding for a 5-4 lead in the third set.
Serving to stay to force a tiebreak, Karimov was throwing in a lot more variety and showing some deft touches at the net, which Norrie looked exploit with more explosive power. Taking an early lead in the tie-break, snaring another mini-break, only to be pegged back for 6-6, before Karimov had a final flourish to take the third set.
The boot was on the other foot at the start of the fourth set as Norrie was broken to love for Karimov to take an early lead at the start. Norrie’s lack of variety started to show alarmingly as Karimov mixed up his game a lot. The fouth set got away from the Brit quickly, taking the second rubber into a deciding set.
Again Karimov looked the more decisive as the World No. 434 took Norrie (World No. 70) to task once more, breaking for a 2-1 lead and holding comfortably to open up a comfortable margin with a double-break cushion. With one last flurry of resistance, Norrie got one of the breaks back but to no avail.
The Doubles rubber takes place on Saturday at 2pm.
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