(Reuters) - Briton Cameron Norrie claimed his biggest win at a Grand Slam when he came from two sets down to beat ninth seed Diego Schwartzman 3-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 7-5 in the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday.
Both players served poorly, resulting in a U.S. Open record 58 break points being up for grabs, and 25-year-old Norrie saved two match points in the decider before prevailing after nearly four hours.
“I’m pretty tired actually. The tennis and the level wasn’t that great but I had a good attitude throughout and I was happy with that,” Norrie told Amazon Prime. “I’m lucky to get through that... it was a tough one.”
Extended rallies and long games were a feature of the match and it was Schwartzman who had the measure of Norrie after the early exchanges, winning four of the last five games in the opening set.
Norrie managed to create chances in the second set but did not convert the big points, giving Schwartzman a two-set lead before the Argentine started to lose his way in the third.
“In the first couple of sets, there were so many second-serve returns when I had break points and I was getting frustrated,” Norrie added. “I managed to convert way more at the end. Fifty-eight (break points) is a lot.
“The first two sets I was rushing everything and going for too much, I was making way too many errors. He’d done almost nothing to be two sets up.”
A time violation saw Schwartzman lose his cool and Norrie took advantage to break and lead 3-2. The Briton capitalised on more errors from a wayward Schwartzman to earn a double break before wrapping up the set.
Schwartzman was unable to find his groove in the fourth set as well while Norrie drastically reduced his unforced error count and converted all three break points to take the match to a decider and pile pressure on the Argentine.
The final set began with both players dropping serve. Schwartzman turned the tables with another break at 3-3 before calling for the physio to look at his wrist following a fall.
He immediately lost his momentum as Norrie saved match points at 5-3 and at 5-4 before taking a 6-5 lead as a cramping Schwartzman lost nine consecutive points and then saw his forehand hit the net on match point.
Norrie has never reached the third round at Flushing Meadows and he will have his chance when he meets another Argentine in the second round in Federico Coria, who also came through a five-setter to beat Jason Jung.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon
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