Cameron Norrie will face Rafael Nadal for the first time ever in the third round of the 2021 Australian Open on Saturday. And during his post-match interview after beating Roman Safiulin in the second round, Norrie revealed that he might seek compatriot Andy Murray’s guidance to help him find a way past Nadal.
Andy Murray has faced Rafael Nadal 24 times in his career, winning seven times in all. The legendary Brit was once part of the famed 'Big 4' of men's tennis, alongside Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Cameron Norrie believes that his illustrious compatriot may have a few tips on how to get the better of Rafael Nadal despite the fact that Murray has a different style of play.
“I mean, that (messaging Andy Murray for advice) would definitely be a good thing to do,” Norrie said. “I’m going to leave (the game plan) up to my coach, but maybe message Andy and see what his thoughts are. We play obviously pretty different, me being lefty, but he's definitely got some good tips in there.”
Cameron Norrie went on to shower rich praise on Rafael Nadal, claiming that the Mallorcan’s game was largely flawless. The Brit stressed on the importance of dictating the play against Nadal, because the Mallorcan never hesitates to take the initiative.
“I think (Nadal has) obviously not really got many weaknesses, so I'm just gonna have to do what I do as well as I can and implement my game and try to play the points on my terms,” Norrie said. “Otherwise if he's the one dictating, it's gonna be tough and I'm gonna be running around a lot."
Cameron Norrie will not be an easy opponent: Rafael Nadal
Cameron Norrie has never played any member of the 'Big 3' before. The Brit has also never made it past the third round of any Major to date.
That, coupled with Nadal’s phenomenal record, makes Norrie the clear underdog in this fixture.
Given that Norrie is not favored to win, many believe he will go out all guns blazing against Rafael Nadal. However, the Spaniard asserted that Norrie still has something to lose.
“That's a philosophy, nothing to lose, but at the same time, he has a match to lose or to win, the same like me,” Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal added that he expects a tough fight from Cameron Norrie, since third-round matches at Majors are never easy.
“We are in the third round of a Grand Slam. I cannot expect an easy opponent in front (of me),” added Nadal. “Norrie will not be an easy opponent.”