Cameron Norrie returns to winning ways with straight-sets success at Wimbledon

Cameron Norrie set aside recent grass-court struggles to ease into the second round of Wimbledon with a straight-sets success over tournament debutant Facundo Diaz Acosta.

The unseeded 28-year-old entered Court Three seeking to rediscover the form which brought a run to the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2022.

He answered his critics following first-round exits at Queen’s and Eastbourne – on the back of suffering a similar fate at the French Open – with a 7-5 7-5 6-3 win which sets up a round-two showdown with British number one Jack Draper.

Cameron Norrie celebrates a break of serve
Cameron Norrie celebrates a break of serve (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“He’s a really good friend of mine,” Norrie, speaking on court, said of Draper.

“We’ve practised together so many times and we always have high-level practices and we always have positive energy.

“I always want him to do well. I would love to play him at Wimbledon, it would be a special one.”

Having been ranked eighth in the world just 18 months ago, Norrie’s poor form has pushed him outside the top 40 and below Draper in the national pecking order.

The South Africa-born player could scarcely have wished for a kinder opening draw in SW19 as he took on an opponent playing his first tour-level match on grass.

Yet fellow left-hander Diaz Acosta, who won the Argentina Open in February after losing to Norrie in the last 16 of that clay-court tournament last year, was not about to roll over.

The world number 67 pushed the home favourite all the way in a tight opening set decided only by a late break of serve.

Norrie quickly took control of the second set courtesy of an early break but was ultimately forced to dig in after both players struggled to hold serve.

Cameron Norrie prepares to serve
Cameron Norrie prepares to serve (Zac Goodwin/PA)

His progress in the third was far smoother, with the greatest disruption being Diaz Acosta receiving medical treatment which, amid the fading light, briefly raised the possibility of the match being carried over to Wednesday.

“I was really, really happy with my level in the third set,” added Norrie, who was repeatedly serenaded by the British crowd, including having his name adapted into a version of Coldplay’s song ‘Yellow’.

“I was moving well, hitting my spots on the serve and really playing tough in the rallies.

“It’s not easy out there, I really enjoyed it and thank you to everyone for staying out this late.”