The men’s main draw at this year’s US Open saw the last of the British challenge come to an end with the dismissal of both Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie who were both defeated disappointingly in the third round at Flushing Meadows and like Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund earlier, will now concentrate on the up-coming re-scheduled French Open in just over a fortnight’s time.
Towards the end I managed to drink a little bit more and actually felt great in the fourth set, but it was too late – he played freely and he played great Cameron Norrie
Norrie, the British No3 ranked 76, was the first in action on Friday playing against Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina of Spain in what was his first appearance in a third round of a grand slam but struggled to get to grips with the spirited Spaniard.
He seemed to have found an answer when, after losing the first set on a tie-break, he levelled the match but then the 21-year-old Davidovich-Fokina, ranked 23 places behind him at 99, picked up his own game to dominate the Brit and run out an easy 7-6(2) 4-6 6-2 6-1 victory in just under three hours.
Norrie was obviously struggling as he made 35 unforced errors in just the first two sets and despite his levelling the match and gaining an early break in the third for 2-1,his younger opponent stormed back putting him on the defensive to secure eight games in a row and winning 32 of 40 points to clinch the third set.
His frustrations grew and a heated exchange with the umpire didn’t help as Fokina took full advantage to claim the victory and a place in next week’s round of 16.
Norrie, who had complained of not being able to see properly, later blamed dehydration for his performance.
“I was realy dehydrated and (my vision) got a little bit blurry (at) the start of the third when I broke,” he revealed. “I was not really seeing the ball that clearly.
“Towards the end I managed to drink a little bit more and actually felt great in the fourth set, but it was too late – he played freely and he played great.
“I usually love the heat. It was obviously a big match. I was drinking as much as I could so no real explanation. I enjoyed the match. If you can’t enjoy being in the third round, I don’t know what you’re doing.”
Following him on Court 5, was his countryman Dan Evans resuming his match with Corentin Moutet of France which had been suspended the previous day by rain.
They resumed at one-set all and Evans won the first point to take the third set to a tie-break where he led 4-1 only to lose six of the next seven points and then let slip a 3-0 lead in the fourth set as the 77th-ranked, 21-year-old, Moutet, triumphed 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) 7-6(1).
The disappointed 23rd seed, world ranked 31, berated himself for his performance, saying: “I was up in the match on numerous occasions so there’s nothing to blame apart from myself.
“You’ve got to win those matches. You just have to win them if you want to be a good tennis player, if you want to get up the rankings you can’t lose that match.
“I didn’t do anything really well. My forehand was woeful. I lost in four tight sets but I played as bad as I’ve got. Obviously, I have to go home and think about a few things.”
Four British men reached the second round in New York for the first time in nearly 50 years providing hope that there would be some representation in the second week but that has not come about.