Cameron Norrie inspired by Carlos Alcaraz ahead of US Open first-round win

Cameron Norrie turned to defending champion Carlos Alcaraz to help him into the second round at the US Open.

The British number one practised with the world number one on Monday before dismantling Alexander Shevchenko of Russia 6-3 6-2 6-2.

It was just the sort of performance Norrie needed after losing his previous three matches on the hard courts.

And the 16th seed credited Spanish superstar Alcaraz for his improved display.

US Open File Photos
File photo dated 25-06-2023 of Carlos Alcaraz celebrates victory. Carlos Alcaraz is the reigning US Open champion. Issue date: Thursday August 24, 2023.

“We had a really good practice and I think it really set the tone yesterday and I was able to put it into my match today,” he said.

“He’s always enjoying the practice and bringing a lot of flair and excitement to the practice court.

“It was not an easy match. Shevchenko has had a good year so far. I know his game quite well, I’d practiced with him a few times.

“I was able to play longer points and win some of the tough games. It was a nice match to play in the first round to get a lot of rhythm.”

Norrie will face qualifier Yu Hsiou Hsu, the world number 237, in round two after his surprise win over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

He was joined in the second round by Jack Draper and Dan Evans, as well as former champion Andy Murray, on a hugely successful day for British tennis.

Draper 21, was a doubt for the championships with the shoulder injury he suffered at the French Open and which forced him to Wimbledon, but he came through a 6-1 6-4 6-3 win over Moldovan Radu Albot unscathed.

“It’s been a tough couple of months,” he said. “When I was in Paris I thought it would be sort of a short-term thing. It turned into a long time and I’m sort of still doing all the rehab for it, making sure that it’s OK.

“There was maybe a possibility that I might not be able to play this tournament, but I looked after it really well, taking it day by day. Today I didn’t feel it at all so I was very, very happy.”

Evans, who has endured some torrid results over the last few months, a tournament win in Washington aside, beat Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4 6-2 7-5.