Hello and welcome to coverage of Cameron Norrie’s third-round clash with 13-time French Open champ Rafael Nadal.
This is their third overall meeting and second on clay this year. The Spaniard leads their head-to-head 2-0 and has won in straight sets on each occasion.
Norrie’s been in the form of his life this season and has put together some impressive results on the red clay. He reached the final in Estoril, Portugal and Lyon, France — two ATP 250s — and secured some big wins in the process including a victory over the current US Open champion Dominic Thiem, his biggest to date.
In Paris the British No 2 beat American qualifier Bjorn Fantangelo in round one and Lloyd Harris of South Africa in the second round. He has dropped just one set so far and is looking forward to his next assignment against Nadal.
“Both times I played Rafa, it just elevated my game and proved to myself that I can compete with him,” said Norrie in his pre-tournament press conference. “When the rallies are so physical with such a great athlete like Rafa, I’m gonna raise my level.”
Nadal’s run to the third round has been pretty smooth. The third-seeded Spaniard got dispatched the young Australian Alexei Popyrin in the first round and in round two took out longtime
However he remains wary of the threat posed by Norrie at Roland Garros.
“He’s a great player,” said Nadal, who has not dropped a set in his first two matches. “He’s winning plenty of matches this year. Every week he’s making good results, winning against very good players.
“I know it’s going to be a tough one. I need to be ready to play my best. I know he has a style of game that is not easy to play against. I need to play well.”