Australian Open: Cameron Norrie suffers dispiriting loss as Rafael Nadal eases through in Melbourne

Australian Open: Cameron Norrie suffers dispiriting loss as Rafael Nadal eases through in Melbourne

Cameron Norrie suffered a disappointing defeat to Sebastian Korda, while Rafael Nadal launched his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title with a trouncing of American Marcos Giron to reach the second round of the Australian Open

Last Updated: 17/01/22 7:16am


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Rafael Nadal began his bid for a 21st Grand Slam title with a comfortable victory over Marcos Giron

Rafael Nadal began his bid for a 21st Grand Slam title with a comfortable victory over Marcos Giron

British No 1 Cameron Norrie continued his winless start to the season with a dispiriting loss to Sebastian Korda in the opening round of the Australian Open, while Rafael Nadal began his quest for a 21st Grand Slam in slick fashion.

The young American is one of the game’s up-and-coming stars and this was a very tricky draw for Norrie but a 6-3 6-0 6-4 scoreline will surely be alarming for Norrie, the 12th seed.

Both men have recently tested positive for Covid-19 – Norrie in December and Korda on arrival in Australia.

But the American, son of former Melbourne champion Petr, and brother of professional golfers Jessica and Nelly Korda, was sharp from the start while Norrie found himself facing an uphill battle immediately and never recovered.

Norrie, who reached the third round here 12 months ago, had a phenomenal 2021, unexpectedly climbing to the verge of the top 10 and winning one of the biggest titles on the ATP Tour in Indian Wells.

However, he was unable to trouble Korda on the new Kia Arena at Melbourne Park, with the 21-year-old sweeping through nine games in a row to ease through.

Rafa begins his Grand Slam quest in style

Nadal made a convincing return to Grand Slam tennis with a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over American Marcos Giron.

The sixth seed, the only man bidding for a 21st major title this fortnight following Novak Djokovic’s deportation, cut short his 2021 season in early August because of a foot problem.

His only slam title in Melbourne came 13 years ago but he began the new year by winning an ATP Tour event on the same courts and brushed aside Giron to reach round two.

Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini, who reached the round of 16 or better at all four majors last year, made a slow start before finding his rhythm to get past unseeded American Brandon Nakashima 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Denis Shapovalov was also made to work hard by Serb Laslo Djere before sealing a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-3) win, while 17th-seed Gael Monfils downed Federico Coria 6-1 6-1 6-3.

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