By Ros Satar
- British No. 2 Cameron Norrie stunned ATP Next Gen champion Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim Britain’s opening win, before teaming up with Katie Boulter to clinch a win for Great Britain in the mixed doubles
- Next up is defending champion Roger Federer
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – Cameron Norrie gave Britain a lead over Stefanos Tsitsipas before helping clinch an opening win over Greece in the Mixed Doubles, but next up is Roger Federer.
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Cameron Norrie def. Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(8) 6-4
British No. 2 Cameron Norrie kicked off Great Britain’s Hopman Cup in some style with a win over the ATP Next Gen champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. Neither gave any quarter in a competitive first set with Tsitsipas the first to drop a mini-break in the tie-break. He broke Norrie back but the pair batted set points back and forth before Norrie broke once more to serve out for the first set.
Tsitsipas was quick to try and re-establish himself again as he broke the Brit in the first game of the second set, but this was a lot more marginal as the break point chances fell on both throughout the match. Norrie wrought the match level after three more breaks in succession – perhaps ruing a lost chance to have gone 5-3 up on the Greek, before closing the match out with a final break.
After the match, Tsitsipas told HopmanCup.com: “It was tough to adjust from the very beginning. Cameron played really well, but I really felt uncomfortable, I don’t know why. Probably because of the weather conditions. The heat here – it’s a bit different. It’s tougher conditions than Dubai where I was preparing.
“I feel like I’m getting tired easily, which I’m not happy with because I’ve been working really hard in the off-season.”
Norrie, on the other hand, has been in Perth for a little longer, having attended his cousin’s wedding a week and a half ago in Dunsborough.
The Brit said: “Both of us weren’t very match fit and haven’t played under the pressure for a few months now. I was just trying to play every point like it was the last.”
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Norrie v Roger Federer
Yes, Hopman Cup is an invitational event with no points on the line and mixed doubles taken in good humour, but this is as golden a chance as the Brit will get in a long while to face former World No. 1 and 20-time Slam winner, Roger Federer. He also has a couple of Hopman Cup titles too his name having played and won in 2001 (his debut) and of course last year with current partner Belinda Bencic.
While Tsitsipas took some time to adjust, Federer will not be quite as easy. Norrie has a competent game in most departments but against Federer he will be tested to the limit.
So far Federer has looked relaxed in his pre-tournament media obligations, and when he takes to the court, Norrie can expect to meet a true all-court player whose versatility will tie him up in knots. That being said, with no expectations on him, Norrie can play free, and in general has good big-picture thinking.
Sometimes the unknown quantity is what can ground the more experienced players when they come up against someone for the first time. Norrie may have to take a chance of that level of unfamiliarity if he is to make any kind of mark here – but the experience will be invaluable.
Prediction: Federer in straight sets.
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