Melbourne | Norrie secures win; Edmund hopes crushed

The current and former British No.1’s had as expected, mixed success in the opening round of the Australian Open being played in Melbourne.

I was pretty nervous, not knowing what to expect from him but I managed to relax in the second set. It wasn’t my best level but I will improve on it and it was nice to get through a tricky first set Cameron Norrie

Cameron Norrie, the current holder of that position who is also the world No.11, had to work through a tough opening set before stamping his authority on his French opponent playing courtesy of a wild card, to reach the second round in straight sets.

In contrast, Kyle Edmund, one of his predecessors and a former Aussie Open semi-finalist, suffered a straight sets loss as he continues his fight to get back the form which saw him rise to No.14 in 2019 before a knee injury side-lined him for around 20 months.

British hopes rest squarely on Norrie’ broad shoulders as he attempts to go deep this year at the first grand slam of the season and improve on his best result in Melbourne, a third-round appearance in 2019.

Seeded 11 for this year’s event, he survived a close first-set battle against teenager Luca Van Assche before pulling away to advance as hoped, stringing together a run of 10 straight games en route to securing a 7-6(3) 6-0 6-3 victory over a player ranked 143.

Norrie only arrived in Melbourne late on Saturday night after a heart-breaking loss to Richard Gasquet in the final of the ASB Classic in his ‘home’ city of Auckland where he was brought up before the family moved to the UK.

Despite his lack of preparation, he showed a lot of confidence bearing in mind he had won six matches, including a win over Rafa Nadal in the United Cup, before he lost on Saturday to the veteran Frenchman.

“He came out strong and firing,” the 27-year-old said in his post-match interview. “It was a quick turnaround from me, coming from Auckland last week.

“I was pretty nervous, not knowing what to expect from him but I managed to relax in the second set.

“It wasn’t my best level but I will improve on it and it was nice to get through a tricky first set.”

Norrie was in command from the outset breaking the young Frenchman on three occasions but each time Van Assche recovered to force a tie-break which the Brit took after 67-minutes of play.

Having kept himself in touch with Norrie, Van Assche’s game seemingly collapsed as Norrie ran off with the next ten games before the teenager made an impression in the third set on his side of the scoreboard, saving two break back points when the Brit was serving for the match.


Jannik Sinner nd Kyle Edmund shake hands after their opening round

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Earlier Kyle Edmund, currently ranked 501, was basically brushed aside by the 15th seeded Jannik Sinner, 6-4 6-0 6-2 much to the delight of the young Italian.

“I think I played very solid today,” Sinner said in his post-match interview in the John Cain Arena. “I had some difficult times to finish it off, but I think my level was very good today.”

Sinner enjoyed a consistent 2022 when it comes to the Grand Slams, reaching the last eight in Melbourne, Wimbledon and the US Open and the Round of 16 at Roland Garros.

Disappointment for the Brit who looked able to match Sinner for much of the first set, but the 21-year-old from San Candido, Italy, just raised his game when required and held the level throughout to advance comfortably.

Still to play are Andy Murray and Dan Evans who are due out on court on Tuesday.





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