It was the same result on the Parisian Clay once again as 13-time Champion Rafael Nadal got the better of Briton Cameron Norrie in straight sets 6-3,6-3,6-3 on Court Suzanne Lenglen to enter the Round of 16 at the 2021 French Open. With this win, Nadal has reached the Round of 16 stage at a grand slam for the 50th time.
Both the players were slow at the start. They were serving quick but weren’t going for big winners early on. Gradually, they started going for shots and making each other move. Nadal got the decisive break in the 6th game lead 5-2. He held serve and won the first set comfortably 6-3 in 39 minutes.
The second set saw a much aggressive Norrie. The Briton showed his form and notched up forehand winners early on to break Nadal’s serve and take a 2-0 lead. But Nadal, using all his years of experience broke back the very next game before getting broken again. From then on, it was all Nadal as he won 5 games in a row, breaking Norrie twice to win the second set 6-3.
The third set was much more evenly poised early on with both players creating chances on their serves. But once again, it was Rafa doing Rafa things, as he landed some serious winners to break Norrie in the 4th game and take a 4-1 lead. The remainder of the set was on serve as Nadal closed it out on serve 6-3.
Nadal credits his team and family for his success
In the on court interview, Nadal acknowledged Norrie’s amazing form and spoke highly about him.
Nadal said: “He’s amazing. He’s 13th on the race and is a very high qualified and that’s why has won a lot of matches this year. So yes, it has been a tough third round but I found a way through and that’s the most important thing for me. I played good tennis at moments, at moments I could’ve done better but yes, I was able to win in straight sets.”
Nadal was then asked about the importance of family and friends being with him on tour in the COVID times. He answered: “The last year and half has been difficult for every player. Not especially for me because I didn’t play that much but for a lot of players have been travelling week after week without having the chance to have family and full team with them and it is very tough, No?”
“Especially for players from South America and Australia, it has been very challenging conditions. For me, it’s always very important to have the team behind and the family. Because of all of them, I am what I am today. So yeah, I am more than happy that we have some crowd on the courts again, it’s so important for us. Hopefully the situation will keep improving.”
Nadal will now play Italian teen sensation Jannik Sinner on Sunday.