Sydney | Norrie and Swan stun Australia to go 2-0 up in their United Cup opening tie

British No.1 Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan have given Team Britain an excellent start in their Group D tie at the inaugural United Cup by stunning their hosts Australia and the partisan crowd in the Ken Rosewall Arena by grabbing the two opening singles without dropping a set.

It’s never easy coming out here in Australia to play Alex de Minaur, he loves it – especially on this court, Cameron Norrie

Alex de Minaur, who led Australia to the Davis Cup final last month, was completely outplayed by Norrie who claimed a 6-3 6-3 victory in 90-minutes.

Throughout the match, Norrie remained calm despite the support which rolled down from the home crowd for their player who, apart from some initial opportunities early in the match, was unable to deal with Norrie’s steady game, in particular his backhand which helped him grab a 3-1 lead which he held to clinch the first set after just 39-minutes.

In the second, Norrie broke the ‘Demon’ in the fifth game and ended the match with a second break of the frustrated Aussie’s game.

“It’s never easy coming out here in Australia to play Alex de Minaur, he loves it – especially on this court,” Norrie said of his opponent who has a fighting reputation, especially when playing in the green and gold of his country.

“He’s such a great competitor and it’s the perfect match to start off 2023,” the Brit, world ranked 14, continued and, with reference to the crowd, added, “The atmosphere was great. It was a really good match. I really enjoyed it.”

De Minaur, however, has promised to fight back following his disappointing opener.

“I’ve got to be better, that’s the reality,” said De Minaur, who replaced an injured Nick Kyrgios as Team Australia’s No.1. “I’ll get back on the training court and make sure I’m better for my next match.”

In the second rubber Swan proved to be too consistent for Zoe Hives as she fought back from 0-3 in the opening set and roll through to a well-deserved 6-4 6-3 victory It was certainly an impressive performance which put Team GB in a strong position with three rubbers to play on Friday.

“It’s the first match of the season. I haven’t played for about two and a half months so I was pretty nervous coming out but what a way to start the year. Such a cool event,” the 23-year-old Swan, ranked 145, said.

“Cam played a great match and it was almost more nerve-racking watching him. It took a lot of pressure off knowing we were 1-0 up. It’s a great start for the team and looking forward to supporting the guys playing tomorrow.”

Katie Swan produced an excellent performance

Andy Cheung/Getty Images

Harriet Dart, Britain’s No.1 in place of Emma Raducano who has opted to play the WTA event in Auckland rather that the inaugural United Cup, will be in action against Ajla Tomljanovic tomorrow when she hopes to repeat her victory over the Aussie recorded last month at the BJK Cup
Dan Evans is currently scheduled to face Jason Kubler in the final singles which will be followed by a mixed doubles to complete the tie,

Spain, the third team in Group D and led by Rafa Nadal, the world No.2, have yet to open their challenge.

Earlier in the day the US, also playing Sydney but in Group C, took a 2-0 lead over the Czech Republic.



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