Cameron Norrie downbeat after French Open exit to Lorenzo Musetti

Cameron Norrie downbeat after French Open exit to Lorenzo Musetti

Cameron Norrie criticised his own attitude and performance after his French Open campaign ended with a straight-sets loss to Lorenzo Musetti in the third round.

It is the third year in a row the British number one has fallen in the last 32, and he only managed to mount any real challenge in the third set before going down 6-1 6-2 6-4.

There is certainly no disgrace in losing to 21-year-old Musetti, who is ranked only five places below Norrie and whose best surface is clay, but the 14th seed was hugely disappointed by the manner of what is one of his worst grand slam losses in terms of scoreline.

The result, meanwhile, brings an end to British singles hopes at a tournament where only three players even made the start line.

“I came out very flat and I’m disappointed with the attitude in the first couple of sets,” said a very downbeat Norrie.

“It was very, very slow conditions, very heavy, and I was not prepared for it to be that slow. For me, I can play bad and everything, but I was just very flat and disappointed to have a performance like that.

“The first two sets he didn’t really do too much and he was up two sets to love. For a player like myself, I can’t afford to give that much of an edge.

“There is no excuses to play the level that I did today. I missed so many easy short balls and I lost so many points within a couple of shots where usually I can win a lot of those ones.

“I didn’t come prepared. I was changing rackets throughout the match. It was a bit colder today but I’m good enough to not let that bother me.”

Norrie lost to Musetti in Barcelona recently but spoke positively after his second-round victory over Lucas Pouille about what he had learned from that clash.

He was immediately on the back foot, though, dropping serve in the opening game against the stylish Italian and swiftly losing the opening set.

Lorenzo Musetti plays a backhand
Lorenzo Musetti plays a backhand (Thibault Camus/AP)

The second was no better, with Musetti too often finding an answer to everything Norrie could throw at him, and the 17th seed went a break up early in the third as well.

Norrie was staring at his worst slam loss but he at least made a fist of it, breaking Musetti, who had lost from two sets up on both of his previous appearances at Roland Garros, back and creating two chances to break for 5-3.

The Italian held firm, though, and drilled a forehand past Norrie to break again before serving out the victory.

Norrie is known for a relentless work ethic and never-say-die attitude so to hear him talk about a lack of preparation and unwillingness to stay in points is certainly concerning.

The 27-year-old has maintained a relentless schedule to help him get to and then stay at the top of the game so it would be understandable if he felt mentally fatigued, but he dismissed the suggestion.

“I’ve played a lot of matches,” he said. “I think I can use that to my advantage. I’ve played more matches maybe than anyone else on the tour in the last maybe three years. I can say that’s a good thing.

“And then even going into this match today, I was thinking I’ve won more matches than Musetti this year, I’ve won bigger matches than him. I think I’m playing better than him on the clay. I was really confident going into it.”

Norrie will now head back to London and turn his attention to the grass-court swing a year on from his run to the Wimbledon semi-finals.

“I would say this one hurts more than others being at a grand slam and wanting to play well at the grand slams,” he added. “Hopefully it gives me more fuel and get ready for the next grand slam, which will be a good one.”