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Norrie suffers first-round exit at Eastbourne

  • Norrie suffers first-round exit at Eastbourne.

Cameron Norrie’s disappointing season continued as he suffered a first-round exit at Eastbourne with a straight-set defeat by Emil Ruusuvuori.

Norrie, who was replaced as British number one by Jack Draper last week, lost 7-6 (11-9) 6-3 to the Finnish world number 88.

The 28-year-old has had a below-par 2024, winning just 14 of his 27 matches and slipping to 44th in the world rankings.

He will not be seeded at this year’s Wimbledon, which starts on Monday.

There was, however, a stunning win for Britain’s Giles Hussey, who took a spot in the draw as a lucky loser just 45 minutes before the match against sixth seed Mariano Navone.

And the world number 359th made the most of it with a 6-4 6-2 win over the Argentine.

Norrie, aiming to better his first-round exit at Queen’s last week, got off to a steady start but could not make the most of two break points at 3-2 up.

Ruusuvuori was able to cling on to force a tie-break and it was the Finn who, after trailing 5-3 and saving two set points, came out on top to take the opener.

Norrie was again left to rue missed chances early in the second set and Ruusuvuori stepped up his intensity to claim the crucial break and lead 5-3.

Despite having a partisan British crowd behind him, Norrie was unable to fight back, missing two break points before his opponent closed out the win to end a five-match losing streak.

Ruusuvuori will play Chinese qualifier Shang Juncheng, who inflicted a surprise 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-4) defeat on seventh seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina on Monday.

Hussey was playing in his first ATP Tour match, having been called up to replace Japan’s Kei Nishikori at very late notice.

He needed just 64 minutes to complete victory over Navone, who lost to Jack Draper in the first round at Queen’s last week.

“I’m shaking, I don’t know if you can tell,” Hussey, 27, said.

“I just came out here and wanted to enjoy it. I was sat there 45 minutes before the match and didn’t know I was going to play today.

“I really didn’t know much about Mariano but I knew that he’s played predominantly on clay so I thought if I could come out here and just swing and go for my shots and try and rush him that that could be the best plan and, luckily, it all came off.”

Meanwhile, British number five and wildcard Liam Broady fell to a 6-3 6-3 loss against Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka on his return from injury.

Broady injured his ankle in March and had his return to competition delayed after sustaining a concussion when he hit his head on a car boot earlier this month.

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