Cameron Norrie fought back from a set down to claim his first singles win over Rafael Nadal and give Great Britain a 1-0 lead in their United Cup tie against Spain.
Norrie made a real statement with the 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win both for the United Cup and the coming season.
The British No 1 backed his strengths and was able to overpower the Spaniard.
Norrie has now won both of his United Cup singles matches and therefore holds a 2-0 record.
Norrie was among the victors as Great Britain downed Australia 3-2 in the opening tie.
The World No 14 beat Alex de Minaur, who became the default Australian men’s No 1 after the withdrawal of Nick Kyrgios.
Katie Swan and Harriet Dart also won matches against Australia.
Norrie’s match against Nadal was if great interest to fans with the Spaniard sturggling with injuries in the second half of last season.
However, Nadal moved very well despite ultimately succumbing to defeat and he should be happy with at least getting the match practice and a tough opponent.
Norrie proved to have more in the tank than Nadal at this stage of the season which will let the Spaniard know where he is in terms of Grand Slam preparation.
“It was a great match,” Norrie said. “At the beginning of the match he was winning some of the tricky points. Him coming to the net and drop-shotting me. I managed to stay tough in the longer rallies and embraced the situation. I think by ranking it is the biggest win of my career.”
Earlier in another match of great interest, Iga Swiatek gave Poland a lead in their tie against Kazakhstan.
Swiatek downed Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 6-3 and showed no sign of any sort of rust during the match.
“I’m pretty happy with my performance,” Swiatek said. “First matches of the season are always rusty. I was happy that in the important moments I was really composed.”
Swiatek absorbed some early pressure from Putintseva as she featured in Poland’s first United Cup match.
After the early struggles, Swiatek found her level and dominated the second set in what could be seen as a warning to the WTA Tour.
Polish No 2 men’s singles player Daniel Michalski wasn’t able to back up Swiatek’s efforts as he lost to Timofey Skatov 7-6, 6-2 to close out the day’s play on Pat Rafter Arena.
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