16 April: Cameron Norrie
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
C. NORRIE/A. Mannarino
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Good start. What have you been up to since we saw you in Miami? Presumably practicing on clay?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah. So I went back to my university in Texas. Took a little bit of time off there and rested. Then trained there. They had a clay court, a green clay court there.
Then went to Houston and here. Just been training, played Houston, and came here.
Q. When did you actually arrive in Monte-Carlo?
CAMERON NORRIE: I got here — I lost on Thursday night in Houston. We flew that night. Then we got here I think Friday evening. Got decent time to kind of rest and was pretty fortunate to get the Tuesday start to give myself a little bit of chance to get used to the time zone and the courts.
Very different to Houston. I definitely prefer the conditions here. So it was a good change for me.
Q. Have you been here before?
CAMERON NORRIE: No. First time.
Q. What do you make of it?
CAMERON NORRIE: It’s not bad at all. It’s pretty solid. You can’t eat anything very cheaply here, but that’s the only downside for me.
Yeah, it’s very nice. I like the conditions here. It’s not very — everything is kind of on top of each other. It’s pretty sick kind of playing tennis on the side of a mountain with a water view. I definitely do like it.
Q. You obviously had some great results on clay last year. How quickly has it taken you to get back to the flow of playing on clay?
CAMERON NORRIE: I think I struggled a little. I went to South America just to kind of give myself a chance for Europe for this time of year. Took me a good two weeks to kind of settle in. That helped a lot going there and spending the time earlier in the year on clay to kind of get used to this.
It definitely felt a little bit more familiar for me coming here for the first time. And I think the conditions today felt a little bit like Marbella. It’s kind of slower, heavier, both places by the water. It kind of felt very similar. I think I do play well when it’s a bit heavier like that. Didn’t miss too many rally balls today, which was nice.
Q. Can you just tell us a bit more about the match today? You seemed pretty well in control from the start.
CAMERON NORRIE: I think I was just winning a lot of the longer rallies. We kind of play very similar. I’m trying to look at his stats and trying to compare from him where he’s serving. It’s kind of tricky. He’s kind of bunting the ball around. I think his backhand stays a little bit lower than mine, which is kind of one of the only players on tour that does that.
We had a lot of long rallies. I think I was just able to defend a little bit better than him. When I found my first serve, I hit my spots well and had a high percentage winning on first points as opposed to him. I returned a lot better off the first serve against him.
Q. Can you just compare how you feel about clay now compared to last year before the Davis Cup tie? Because I think you had never played a match on red clay before that.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah.
Q. So just how do you feel about the surface now compared to then?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think then I had zero expectations, which almost was good for me. I didn’t have any pressure on myself, which was, I mean, a good mentality to go into having.
Kind of after that result, I kind of thought, okay, now I’m a clay courter. I can play well on there. It took me a while to kind of adjust to that. I think my court position should be a little bit further back. It’s not so natural for me, but I think from my forehand side I can have a bit more time on that and look to dictate play.
But I think my physicality is progressing and my game is progressing to show that I can play well on clay and compete with the best guys in the world.
Q. You mentioned expectations. Are there any targets for this clay court season, like how far you want to go in any of these tournaments, what’s a good result for you?
CAMERON NORRIE: Not really. With my coach, we don’t really set too many results-based goals, but I just kind of want to just be healthy and just kind of look to challenge these guys on the clay and make every match as physical as possible.
I think when I do get stuck into matches, it’s when I play my best. And sometimes my losses come pretty quickly and it’s just — I’m not really getting my head into the match. So I think if I can get my head into the match and concentrate and give it everything, I can be happy. I’m not going to go into tournaments trying to make a certain ranking or round.
Q. Weren’t you looking at adding a physical trainer?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, he’s here with me this week.
Q. And who is it?
CAMERON NORRIE: His name is Vasek Jursik. He used to work at Mouratoglou. He used to work with Kokkinakis and did some work with Kerber. I think he’s a great addition. It’s nice to have him here. He can speak French a little bit, too.
Q. When did he officially begin…
CAMERON NORRIE: I did preseason with him in December. Then this is the first couple of tournaments that he’s traveled with me. But he’s not going to travel that much. He’s probably going to do probably 16 weeks for the year, and then the rest with my physio. I’m traveling with Trotters this week, these two weeks, as well, James Trotman.
Q. You’re saying that that’s made quite a big difference, having more time with the fitness trainer, that your physicality is improving?
CAMERON NORRIE: For sure. He just kind of knows what’s going on. Last year was kind of tough to get some consistency with my kind of doing some stuff on the road. I think it’s helped a lot to have him, even having him for so short.
I think just to have Trotters as opposed to not having Facu the whole time just to kind of break it up a little bit and keep the freshness within the team, it’s great.