French Open: Cameron Norrie defeat ends British singles interest as wait for last-16 Grand Slam spot continues

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Wait continues: British No1 Cameron Norrie has never made it beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament  (Getty Images)
Wait continues: British No1 Cameron Norrie has never made it beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament (Getty Images)

Cameron Norrie squandered 16 break points as his bid to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time bit the dust on the clay of Roland Garros.

The British singles contingent will all be home before the postcards after Norrie, the only man or woman to reach the third round at the French Open, was beaten 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-4 by Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

The 10th seed will look back on the host of early chances he had, to draw blood against an opponent he was well-matched against - in the first set alone he forced eight break points but could not convert one of them.

By the time he was 4-2 down in the second, Norrie had wasted 11 opportunities to break while Khachanov had converted all three of his. At the 12th time of asking, Norrie did make a breakthrough, a well-worked point finished with a volley at the net to bring the set back on serve.

Then a set point for Norrie on the Khachanov serve came and went and instead, it was the 21st seed’s power which forced the errors from Norrie to send him surging into a two-set lead.

It was the same story at the start of the third; Norrie created two break points, missed both and was immediately broken again. Yet Khachanov allowed the 10th seed back into the set twice and Norrie finished the job with a break to take it into a fourth.

But the effort seemed to have taken its toll on Norrie and Khachanov started the set - by now being played under the Paris floodlights - like a metro train as he roared 5-1 ahead.

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Norrie battled to the end, saving three match points before breaking for 3-5, but he succumbed to a powerful service game with an ace down the middle ultimately sending him packing.

A disappointed Norrie said: “I think Karen was better than me and played the bigger points better. I had a lot of break points and he made it difficult for me. I thought he played great.

“I wanted to make the second week for first time and today I didn’t play my best. Karen played better, he deserved the win and I’m very disappointed but I tried as hard as I could and had a good attitude, gave myself a chance. I need to keep doing what I’m doing and learn from these matches.”

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