Cameron Norrie had to overcome two rain delays but the weather was the only thing that slowed him on the way to a convincing straight sets victory in his opening match at Wimbledon.
Arriving at the All England Club as the British No.1 for the first time, Norrie showed no signs of nerves as he cruised past Spain’s Pablo Andujar, the world No.100, 6-0 7-6 (3) 6-3.
The first set, in particular, was a breeze, Norrie needing just 23 minutes to complete it before inexplicably being broken in the opening game of the second.
That was followed by the first break for rain, with Norrie returning and breaking back before taking the second set on a tie-break and seizing the advantage early in the third.
He saw three match points come and go before the rain returned again with Andujar serving at 5-3 down. He did not have to wait long on his return, clinching the match on his opponent’s serve to set up a meeting with another Spaniard, Jaume Munar in round two with the 25-year-old revelling in his first experience of the seeded locker rooms at Wimbledon.
He said: “It was a tricky match with the delays but that was a pretty good match and I felt my tennis was very solid. I had chances to finish the match before the delay but I came out a lot better the second time than I did in the first. It was nicely done in straight sets.
“I think I’m getting a better reception than other years. I think people are aware that I’m improving my tennis. I want to use all that support to my advantage, especially in matches at Wimbledon.
“I thought after making the final at Queens I’d get into the seeded locker rooms last year but only the top 14 got in because of Covid. Being in there with those players is special and my locker in there next to Novak’s (Djokovic).”To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.
While Norrie will be a heavy favourite in his next match against clay-court specialist Munar, it is the Spaniard who has won their only previous meeting.
And the 26-year-old knows he will need to be at his best to avoid a repeat.
He added: “I know he prefers the clay, I’ve played doubles with him and he volleys really well. He’s a very tricky opponent when he’s locked in and I lost to him last time. He’s a very talented guy but I like the challenge. I’m going in with some rhythm.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA Website