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Norrie loses as British men's interest ends at Wimbledon

Cameron Norrie shouts in frustration at Wimbledon
Cameron Norrie reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2022 [Getty Images]

Cameron Norrie lost to German fourth seed Alexander Zverev as Britain's interest in the Wimbledon men's singles ended for another year.

Norrie, 28, was beaten 6-4 6-4 7-6 (17-15) in the third round.

Zverev, who has never gone past the last 16 at the All England Club, battled through after sustaining a knee injury early in the second set.

The 27-year-old could not take his first five match points in a monumental tie-break, where Norrie also had five set points, before clinching victory at the sixth attempt.

Recently being deposed as the British men's number one was the result of a chastening few months for 42nd-ranked Norrie.

A promising start to the season, including reaching the Australian Open fourth round where he lost a bruising battle with Zverev, was derailed by illness in Rio de Janeiro and he has struggled for form since.

Coming into Wimbledon, Norrie had suffered first-round exits at Roland Garros, Queen's and Eastbourne.

A surprise defeat by British world number 773 Jack Pinnington Jones at an ATP Challenger event in Nottingham was sandwiched between the home events.

But Norrie has found his game again at Wimbledon, where he reached the semi-finals in 2022.

A pumped-up Norrie gave a reminder of his quality by beating Jack Draper, who has unseated him as the leading British man, in the second round.

Zverev is arguably the finest current men's player not to have won a Grand Slam title - an unwanted moniker retained following his loss to Spain's Carlos Alcaraz in last month's French Open final - and was a different proposition.

Zverev used his huge serve and classy backhand to great effect, pinning Norrie behind the baseline and not allowing the Briton to turn defence into attack.

A single break for a 3-2 lead proved enough for the German to take the opening set.

But there was a concerning moment early in the second set when Zverev jarred his left leg chasing a drop shot and clattered into the net in front of the umpire.

The incident left the majority of the Centre Court crowd - including Olympic champions Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, plus Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, as part of Sporting Saturday - gasping in concern.

Zverev looked in agony as he stayed down on the grass.

After eventually getting up and receiving treatment, he was able to continue but did not look comfortable as he moved around gingerly.

His movement improved as the set wore on, breaking again in the ninth game before coming through a 26-minute tie-break.