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Britain's Cameron Norrie loses to Matteo Berrettini in Queen's Club final

Britain's Cameron Norrie loses to Matteo Berrettini in Queen's Club final
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Cameron Norrie, 25, was attempting to become only the second Brit to win at Queen's, after Andy Murray, since the Second World War.

Cameron Norrie's bid to become the king of Queen's Club was ended in three sets by big-serving Italian Matteo Berrettini in the final of the cinch Championships.

Norrie, 25, was attempting to become only the second Brit to win at Queen's, after Andy Murray, since the Second World War.

But world number nine Berrettini, the top seed, proved too strong in a 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-3 victory.

In doing so Berrettini, also 25, became the first debutant to triumph at Queen's since Boris Becker in 1985 – who went on to win Wimbledon a couple of weeks later.

Following his third defeat in a final this year, Norrie said: "All credit to Matteo and your team. A great week for you and just too good today.

"I've really enjoyed my tennis here and if you'd told me before the tournament, I'd have signed up for the final.

"It's great to have tennis back in the UK, back in London and back on the grass."

Berrettini was the destroyer of British hopes in west London having already accounted for Murray and Dan Evans with his booming serves which regularly touched 140mph.

Berrettini's serve has been a huge weapon
Berrettini's serve has been a huge weapon (John Walton/PA)

Key for Norrie was to do the business with his own serve and then hope to eke out a chance or two on Berrettini's, or strike in the tie-break.

So it was a huge setback when two double faults gifted Berrettini a break in the opening set, which he went on to take with yet another unreturnable serve.

Norrie saved two break points before moving 5-4 ahead in the second and had a glimpse of an opening at 6-5, 15-30 on the Berrettini serve, but it was quickly snuffed out.

However, in the tie-break the plan worked to perfection, Norrie nicking the mini-break, racking up three set points and taking the third on serve when Berrettini floated a backhand long.

Great Britain's Cameron Norrie celebrates winning the second set
Great Britain's Cameron Norrie celebrates winning the second set (John Walton/PA)

Two more break points were fended off by Norrie at 2-3 in the decider but in his next service game he blew a 40-0 lead, netting limply to hand Berrettini the chance to serve for the championship.

Berrettini had won his previous 45 service games this week, and he made it 46 to love to land his fifth ATP title and the biggest of his career.

Nevertheless, Norrie can console himself with a £72,000 pay day and a rise in the rankings from 41 to 34, which should be enough to see him among the seeds at Wimbledon.

"It's obviously special to be seeded at Wimbledon," added Norrie. "I'm obviously disappointed not to get the title but we'll keep pushing for more and hopefully there'll be many more chances to come."

Berrettini, the first Italian to claim the Queen's title, said: "It's been an unbelievable week and to think of Boris Becker's name and my name is crazy.

"I have been watching the tournament since I was a kid and this is a dream come true to win it.

"Cam is a great player and this year he has shown how he can play on all the surfaces. He's had a great week and I am sure he will win a title soon."

There was success for Britain when Gordon Reid won the wheelchair singles final 6-2 6-2 against Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez.

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Dan Evans pictured at Queen's Club on June 18, 2021
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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