Cameron Norrie fights back to beat cramping Andy Murray in 'Battle of Brits'

·21 min read
Andy Murray - GETTY IMAGES
Andy Murray - GETTY IMAGES

Cameron Norrie won the battle of the Brits at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati by punishing Andy Murray's wastefulness.

Murray had the match on his racket, forcing a number of break points at key times, but he could not convert them and Norrie stole a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win.

It was the second meeting between the pair, with Murray winning the first in 2019, but Norrie, seeded ninth, got his revenge and advanced to the last 16.

The Scot left the court having had treatment on cramp on his thigh but the 11 missed break points will have hurt more.

Cameron Norrie - GETTY IMAGES
Cameron Norrie - GETTY IMAGES

"I think there was not much in it," Norrie said on Amazon Prime.

"It came down to a little bit of physicality and it didn't really help him. He was struggling a little bit towards the end and I just tried to get the ball in at the end.

"I am still struggling with the conditions a litte bit and trying to find rhythm. I just got through with my attitude and stay positive.

"I managed to find myself at one set all, I don't know how and the last set was a battle, he had some chances and I played a couple of good points.

"That's how it rolls sometimes in tennis. It's a massive win for me beating Andy for the first time. It's not the way I wanted to beat him with him cramping, but it's nice to get through."

Cameron Norrie - GETTY IMAGES
Cameron Norrie - GETTY IMAGES

After there was an exchange of breaks in the first two games, Murray assumed control and dictated the points.

He missed the chance to break in Norrie's second service game but continued to play on his terms and eventually broke at 4-3 before serving out the next game to take the first set.

The Scot, who was reduced to tears after his emotional first-round win over Stan Wawrinka, had the perfect opportunity to grasp an even firmer control of the match in the opening game of the season as he forced break point.

But with the court gaping he put a routine volley wide and Norrie survived.

And that miss proved big as Norrie began to knock on the door. Murray was able to save break points at 2-3, but could not repeat the trick at 3-4 as the British number one struck to go 5-3 up.

He had 40-0 as he try to force an immediate break back but Norrie got himself out of trouble and served out the second set.

Murray regrouped and his big moment came in a lengthy sixth game, but he squandered three break points and Norrie survived.

Eventually all those missed opportunities came back to haunt the 35-year-old as a double fault handed his compatriot the crucial break and he served it out to claim a victory that will have tasted very sweet.

Cameron Norrie beats Andy Murray, as it happened

07:20 PM

Thanks for joining us

That was an eventful match. Norrie wasn't at his best but will be delighted to come through the match.

Relive the match below. Meanwhile, you can follow Emma Raducanu's match with Victoria Azarenka here!

07:05 PM

Norrie reacts

There was not much in it. He was struggling a bit towards the end with cramp.

Nothing was really working for me, the last set was a battle but that's how it rolls sometimes.

06:53 PM

Murray struggling physically

Murray hasn't been able to sit down yet as he receives more treatment from the physio. He looks in agony.

It was a brutal physical battle.

06:51 PM

Murray* 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 Norrie (*denotes next server)

At the changeover, Murray gets some treatment from the tournament physio. He was livid as he sat down.

Murray backhand return wide, 15-0. Murray steps into a backhand and Norrie misses with a forehand, 15-15.

Murray forehand up the line and Norrie nets a defensive forehand, 15-30. Murray inexplicably puts a forehand long, 30-0. Really bad miss that.

Incredible hustle by Norrie to reach a Murray drop volley and he flicks a backhand up the line for a winner, match point.

What a finish by Norrie. One of the longest rallies of the match, both players pushing each other to the brink before Norrie gains the upper hand and finishes with a forehand winner.

06:44 PM

Murray 6-3, 3-6, 4-5 Norrie* (*denotes next server)

Ace by Murray, 30-0. Followed by a weary looking double fault, 30-15. Norrie reads Murray's drop shot and responds with one of his own which Murray can't reach, 30-40. Break point.

Murray finds his first serve, gets a short ball and hits a forehand with just enough pace that Norrie can't get the ball back in play.

Murray is struggling with cramp at the moment, stretching his legs after every point. He looks knackered.

Murray produces an anguished scream after netting a backhand, break point Norrie. Murray double fault.

Norrie will serve next for a place in the fourth round.

06:36 PM

Murray* 6-3, 3-6, 4-4 Norrie (*denotes next server)

Norrie eases to 40-0 but Murray pulls it back to 40-30 with a forehand winner into the corner.

Exceptional angled backhand return winner by Murray, deuce. Norrie barely moved for it.

Ace by Norrie to hold. Who will blink first?

06:32 PM

Murray 6-3, 3-6, 4-3 Norrie* (*denotes next server)

Murray bounces back from the disappointment of squandering all those break chances by holding to love.

He is digging in here and keeping the pressure on Norrie.

Andry Murray - GETTY IMAGES
Andry Murray - GETTY IMAGES

06:29 PM

Murray* 6-3, 3-6, 3-3 Norrie (*denotes next server)                   

Norrie is now the one under pressure on his serve at 15-30 down. He comes into the net and that pressure forces Murray to hit into the net. Another net ball from Murray, this one a backhand, allows Norrie the 40-30 advantage BUT then Murray moves around the court brilliantly to get it to deuce.

More aggressive groundstrokes force Norrie into the error and Murray has a break point - can he make count?

No he cannot...a forehand into the net gets it back to deuce.

More impressive manoeuvring again forces a Norrie error and he has another break. BUT again a backhand into the net gets it back to deuce.

An outrageous backhand down-the-line winner on the run then gives the world No 11 the advantage - that's the shot of the match so far. But he cannot capitalise and it's back to deuce for the fourth time...

Murray earns his third break point of the match with his shot of the match - a magical drop shot at the end of a long rally. It then looks as though he's going to break as the ball sit up nicely for a forehand on the run BUT the Sscot hits it into the net.

From there Norrie makes not mistake winning the next two points and that game, you think, will hurt Murray. Again, as with the second set, he had his chances but wasn't able to take them.

06:18 PM

Murray 6-3, 3-6, 3-2 Norrie* (*denotes next server)                 

Much better serving from Murray - he's also looking like he's being more aggressive with his groundstrokes and is the more proactive of the British pair. He holds to 15.

Will this result come down to who is the fitter of the two? If it does you have to fancy the younger of the duo, Norrie.

06:15 PM

Norrie is looking stronger the longer the match goes on

Cam Norrie  - GETTY IMAGES
Cam Norrie - GETTY IMAGES

06:13 PM

Murray* 6-3, 3-6, 2-2 Norrie (*denotes next server)                 

Murray is struggling to put Norrie under pressure on his serve. The Scot is making a fair few errors from the back of the court and he's already made six unforced errors this set. Norrie holds to 15.

06:10 PM

Murray 6-3, 3-6, 2-1 Norrie* (*denotes next server)               

Better service game from Murray - it's the first comfortable service game for a while from the three-time grand slam winner. He holds to 15 - just the sort of game he needed, you can only be under pressure on your own serve for so long without it taking its toll.

06:06 PM

Murray* 6-3, 3-6, 1-1 Norrie (*denotes next server)               

A neat, confident service game from Norrie. He's no longer tentative and hitting the ball will power and purpose. He holds to 15.

06:03 PM

Murray 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 Norrie* (*denotes next server)             

You feel as though Norrie has the slight advantage going into this deciding set. Murray serves first and opens up with a double fault, not the best start.

Off his second serve Murray then hits a passive forehand and Norrie can pounce with a blistering forehand winner to make it 0-30. Murray is then on second serve next point but he's much more positive with his groundstrokes and earns his first point of the final set. A drop shot followed by volley gets him to parity at 30-30.

Two points later it's deuce and Murray, as has been the pattern the past few of his service games, is again under pressure. A forehand, hit with some force, into the net earns Murray a service point prompting him to scream out loud. He then holds after another long rally. He's really being made to work hard now.

05:52 PM

NORRIE WINS THE SECOND SET 6-3...match goes to a deciding set     

Norrie is serving for the set and backed into a corner Murray hits out to some effect. A fine forehand return gets him to 0-30 and a point later the two-time Wimbledon champion has three break points.

Norrie saves the first thanks to a strong first serve, a long forehand from Murray saves him the second, and great power allied to precision culminating in a forehand smashed winner saves Norrie the third.

The British No 1 is looking far more confident as two aces take us to a deciding set.

Much better from Norrie BUT Murray had his chances to break at least twice that set.

05:48 PM

Murray 6-3, 3-5 Norrie* (*denotes next server)             

Murray is angry with himself after an unforced error - a wayward backhand - allows Norrie into the game at 30-30 having been 30-0 up.  He is under more pressure this set and a big Norrie forehand winner makes it deuce two points later. He's knocking on the door once again, and a brilliant return earns the British No 1 another break point. Another unforced error - a wide sliced backhand - gifts Norrie the break and Murray will be frustrated with himself.

Norrie breaks. 

05:40 PM

Murray* 6-3, 3-4 Norrie (*denotes next server)           

Good hold from the British No.1, he holds to 15 and is looing good in this second set.

05:37 PM

Murray 6-3, 3-3 Norrie* (*denotes next server)           

For the first time since the break in the opening game of the match Murray is under pressure on his serve with Norrie having a break point at advantage. You feel as though the momentum is with the world No.11 BUT Murray comes up with a big first serve and it's back to deuce - that's a fantastic response. That is undone by a forehand into the net and Norrie has another break point, can he make this one count? No, he cannot as he hits a forehand long - a surprising miss.

From there Murray digs deep and holds, just...

05:27 PM

Murray* 6-3, 2-3 Norrie (*denotes next server)         

Murray is within sight of another break point at 0-30 but two wayward backhands - one long, the other into the net - gets Norrie back into the game.

From there a backhand winner down the line and and cute drop shot, that Murray did well to get to, allows the world No 11 to hold to 30. That was a good comeback from Norrie, but once again at 0-30 up and with Norrie on second serve, Murray may be thinking of what might have been...

05:24 PM

Norrie is being made to battle

Norrie  - GETTY IMAGES
Norrie - GETTY IMAGES

05:23 PM

Murray 6-3, 2-2 Norrie* (*denotes next server)         

Norrie is standing further back on his returns of serve and it's paying dividends at 30-30. Murray then gets in a big first serve and shouts on winning the point. It's as though he realises Norrie has gone up a gear this set.

The next point see Norrie move well around the court, moving Murray about before a forehand smash makes it deuce.

Murray is keeping his intensity up and wins the game with an ace. That was a battling hold from the two-time Wimbledon winner.

05:14 PM

Murray* 6-3, 1-2 Norrie (*denotes next server)       

Three unusual errors in a row from Murray helps Norrie to a 40-0 lead and in the blink of an eye it's a love hold.

05:13 PM

Murray 6-3, 1-1 Norrie* (*denotes next server)       

Good confident stuff from Murray. That was as straightforward a service game you can get (bar firing down four aces). He holds to love.

05:10 PM

Murray* 6-3, 0-1 Norrie (*denotes next server)     

Norrie is 40-15 up when with most of the court open he decides to play a drop shot that goes wide - he's overcomplicating things at the moment.

Murray again comes into the net to play two great volleys the second of which wins him the point to get it to deuce.

A forehand Murray winner saves one service point and at deuce for a second time a wide forehand from Norrie gives Murray a break point. Then, considering the volleys he's pulled off today, Murray misses the easiest net shot he's had today. That would have got him the early break...

Norrie - thanks to a forehand winner and a long Murray backhand - then wins the next two points and holds.

Could that missed Murray volley prove significant?

05:00 PM

MURRAY WINS FIRST SET 6-3!!

Norrie doesn't look as though he's swinging freely and that's playing into Murray's hands. He plays one great forehand winner that is noteworthy because it stands alone as one of the few forehands that's come right out the middle of Norrie's racquet.

He is, however, a battler and gets it to deuce in this game - aided, in part, by some poor Murray first serves. But Murray holds firm and takes the next two points to win the set 6-3.

That was impressive by the three-time grand slam winner. He's moving well, serving well and playing an astute tactical match.

As for Norrie it looks as though he's just a bit too tentative.

04:53 PM

Murray* 5-3 Norrie (*denotes next server)     

Murray has been quick to come into the net so far - at 0-15 here he attacks the net and plays a great, sliced volley on the run to make it 0-30.

Norrie, however, gets his first going and fights back well to get to 40-30. At that moment Murray again uses the sliced backhand before volleying for the point - he really is moving well, a good sign for the veteran (I am allowed to call him that, no?!).

At deuce an unforced Norrie error gifts Murray a break point and it's all he needs as next point the world No 11 comes into the net and is passed brilliantly by Murray who plays a wonderful backhand crosscourt winner.

That was vintage Murray and all the signs are good for the Scottish star so far. He'll now be serving for the first set.

04:46 PM

Murray serve is looking good so far

Murray  - GETTY IMAGES
Murray - GETTY IMAGES

04:44 PM

Murray 4-3 Norrie* (*denotes next server)   

Murray uses the sliced backhand well setting up a volley which gets him to 15-0. That's followed up with an ace. He's looking good and doing what he needs to do against one of the form players this year. He holds to 15 and looks in a confident mood.

04:41 PM

Murray* 3-3 Norrie (*denotes next server)   

Solid from Norrie as he holds to love.

04:38 PM

Murray 3-2 Norrie* (*denotes next server) 

Norrie isn't going to overpower anyone but what he lacks in power he makes up for with a delicate touch. At 15-15 the world No 11 comes into the net and plays a delightful drop volley that would have flummoxed almost everyone. Murray, though, is opening up his shoulders and holds to 30. He's looking strong out there and confident to boot.

It's been a fascinating encounter so far, Murray's first serve and forehand speed are both working well.

04:33 PM

Murray* 2-2 Norrie (*denotes next server) 

Thanks Rob for stepping onto the blog from the swimming pool that is currently Lord's...panic over, was a false alarm at Telegraph Towers and I am back in front of this British battle.

The good Murray response from the early break looks as though it's going to be capitalised on as the Scot has two break points at 15-40. Norrie is struggling with the conditions and on second serve Murray can attack the world No 11. But after a long rally, in which the Scot seemed on top, Murray hits long and is down to one break point. That's saved by Norrie thanks to a good first serve.

From deuce the world No 11 recovers well taking the next two points and we're all square.

04:26 PM

Murray 2-1 Norrie* (*denotes next server)

After all that breaking palaver, Murray holds to 30, Norrie's two points coming off a double fault and a lob that tested Murray's ability, or rather his hip's ability to turn quickly and chase it back to the baseline from the net.

04:23 PM

Murray* 1-1 Norrie (*denotes next server)

Deft, running backhand drop by Murray ties it up at 15-all. Norrie's first serve isn't all that reliable either so far and he hooks a forehand cross off his second serve long after being pushed back by Murray's withering backhand.

Norrie makes it 30-all, defending the attempted pass at the net with a neat drop volley to earn game point but Murray takes it to deuce after a fine baseline rally ends with a blistering forehand crosscourt winner.

Murray gives himself the chance of an immediate breakback with whippy power, drawing the error. Can Norrie defend the break point on his second serve? No, he plants a running forehand into the net and Murray breaks back quam celerrime.

Break back.

04:17 PM

Murray 0-1 Norrie* (*denotes next server)

Norrie takes an immediate love-15 lead rather fortuitously with a framed forehand that loops over Murray and kisses the line. Up goes a hand in apology. Murray, wearing a blue and yellow short, double faults to make it 15-30, double faults with his second serve by quite a long way but follows it up with a good, wide serve to level it up at 3--all.

Murray's first serve isn't functioning and he invites Norrie into the net and he earns a break point off a flukey net cord.

Murray can't defend the break point off his second serve and powers his second shot of the point into the net.

Break of serve.

04:11 PM

Good afternoon

Rob Bagchi here, stepping into the breach during a Lord's rain delay.

Norrie has won the toss and elected to bat receive.

04:06 PM

Slight problem

There's a fire alarm at Telegraph Towers and I have to make a swift departure. Back with all the action ASAP!

04:04 PM

The players are about to walk onto court

And we're not far from the opening game of this all-British encounter.

04:04 PM

Murray and Norrie

Have only faced each other once before on the ATP Tour and it's Murray who won that encounter. It came in 2019 in Beijing with the Scot winning in three sets.

But it's Norrie who goes into this clash as favourite. He's the world No 11 (to Murray's current ranking of 47) and has two titles this year to the all-time great's none.

Here's what Murray had to say about his opponent ahead of today's match.

"Cam's one of the best in the world and I want to beat him."

03:59 PM

Unlike at Lord's the weather is in fine fettle

In Cincinnati. Blue skies and temperatures approaching 30 degrees later on. Delightful...

03:48 PM

Before we focus on Murray vs Norrie

Let's have a quick look at last night's battle of the US Open winners - or in other words Emma Raducanu's impressive win over Serena Williams.

It was easily Raducanu's most composed and authoritative performance since her memorable win at Flushing Meadows, and, hopefully, will prove to be a confidence-boosting victory. She goes against Victoria Azarenka in what should prove to be a tough encounter.

But it was a night that really belonged to Serena Williams - for many the GOAT...For Serena fans it was a tough watch with the 23-time grand clam winner in the home straight of her remarkable career.

Here's a good read from Fiona Tomas on what is likely not to be a fairytale ending to Serena's brilliant career.

READ:  Serena Williams’ swift exit proves this is a painful passing of the torch

01:16 PM

The Battle of Britain

Andy Murray is expecting no shocks when he faces compatriot Cameron Norrie at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati today.

The two Britons face each other in the second round of the Masters tournament after both were taken to gruelling three-setters by foes new and old.

Three-time grand slam champion and Duracell Bunny Murray survived a thrilling encounter with long-time rival Stan Wawrinka. The Scot showed a lot of courage and grit, two characteristics he's shown in spades throughout his career, in the deciding set, battling back from an early break to ultimately claim victory 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4.

That's set up a Battle of Britain with him facing the world No 11 and British No 1 Norrie. And knowing each other well, Murray is predicting no surprises out on court today.

"He is very different to how Stan plays, being a lefty," Murray said. "[He's] flat on the backhand, heavy topspin on the forehand. We have spent a little bit of time on the court together, so there won't be many surprises out there for me."

One thing Murray may be concerned about was the toughness and physicality of his win over Wawrinka.

"The court is pretty lively when the weather is like this. Physically I feel tired," he said.

"I had some issues with cramp during the match, the same as Washington, so that is something I need to get on top of.

"I tried to take the ball on a little more and finish points at the net. I wasn't that successful when I came up, but the intention was there. I was a little more offensive on the second-serve return. Last game I was just fighting, trying to find a way through."

Norrie booked his place in the round of 32 contest after eventually coming through his match against rising star Holger Rune.

The world No 11's path to victory mirrored Murray's as he ultimately overcame his teenage opponent 7-6 (5),4-6, 6-4.

Stay here for all the action from what is likely to be a hugely intriguing clash between the two Brits.