17 April: Cameron Norrie

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Cameron Norrie
Press Conference
C. NORRIE/M. Fucsovics

7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell us about the match.
CAMERON NORRIE: I mean, obviously it was very physical. Went down an early break to start, but he played well. Found myself — I think I was 5-3 down and I hadn’t done anything wrong.

Just stuck with him, and then he played a little bit of a loose game at 5-4. I think actually served a couple of set points and backhand net tape, but I’ll take those. Ended up playing a very solid tiebreak and started the second extremely solid.

He looked a little bit physically fatigued slightly midway through the second. I just grew on that and used that to my advantage and ended up playing a very clutch game to kind of close it out. No, it was just a very clean match and good tennis match all around.

Q. Feels like quite a good opportunity for you, Masters 1000 level, where you have not had that much success in the last two years since you have been on the tour. Now you’re playing an Italian qualifier in the next round. Feels like it’s opened up a bit. Is it a case of taking it step by step? How much do you know about this Lorenzo Sonego guy?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think that’s probably the best attitude, just take it step by step. I don’t really know him too well, but he’s had a very good clay season. I saw him at Buenos Aires. He won a couple matches there. The guy competes like a dog. Solid all around. I’m going to have to expect a tough match.

I don’t think there is many easy ones out there on ranking. I think it looks like it’s a good opportunity. I have seen this guy play and compete. He’s really tough. I’m going to have to expect the worst. He’s obviously extremely confident after the win yesterday against Khachanov. It’s a huge one on the clay. I think he’s almost more of the favorite a little bit going into this one.

Q. Your first Masters win yesterday. Is this something you were aware of or is this just another tournament as far as you were concerned?
CAMERON NORRIE: No, I think I was aware of it a little bit. I think I was only aware of it after I lost Miami, and I was, like, Jeez, I actually haven’t won a match here in the 1000s.

It was nice to tick that box yesterday. It felt good. It was a little bit nervy. I think it was just kind of another match, another day in the office. It was just nice to get that under the belt and nice to get another one today. So I have two of them now, 1000s.

Q. Surface-wise, clay, I know you play well on hard, but a slow clay court does feel like it could be your natural habitat?
CAMERON NORRIE: A little bit (smiling). I think I do feel most comfortable on the hard, but when I’m playing well and feeling confident and physically good, I think clay could be one of my favorite surfaces. And I’m moving well and looking for my forehand.

I feel pretty comfortable when I’m kind of in the zone, but tough to get in the zone there, but when I’m in there, I feel great.

Q. You have a little bit of a Rafa thing going on with that, kind of heavy top into the backhand corner, haven’t you?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, a little bit. Today I was managing to pin them in the backhand side and get it up to his backhand. He dropped a little bit a couple balls short, and I was able to kind of dictate from there. And then I think he struggled a little bit to kind of switch line. But I will take the Rafa comparison, for sure (smiling).

Q. You’re the No. 1 Brit in the race this year. Players from other countries sometimes say having a bit of a competition between players from the same country can actually spur you on a little bit. Do you feel that against, like, Kyle and Dan?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s great. I think it’s been a couple of years since we have had I think three guys in the top 100 from the UK, so it’s nice to have those kind of guys around the similar rankings and have each other supporting each other and practicing each other and having kind of that culture that some of the other countries, like Argentinian guys have and the French guys kind of have.

So I think it’s nice to kind of have that, and it will be nice to get a couple more guys in the mix. It’s wonderful to see Dan kind of shoot up very quickly. Definitely going to see him in some of the ATP events, so it will be nice to kind of have him around.

Q. Similar kind of rankings theme. If you win tomorrow, then you’ll be just outside the top 20 of the ATP race for the year. Do you feel your level is towards the top 20 now? Is that a realistic goal for you this season?
CAMERON NORRIE: Honestly, I haven’t really thought about that too much. I feel like I’m playing well and kind of competing well, and I’m kind of mentally pretty focused on what I’m doing. I’m in a good place mentally.

I haven’t really thought too much about kind of finishing top 20 or so. But I’ll take that at the end of the year if I finish top 20.

Yeah, I just kind of want to keep staying in the present. Honestly, it will be nice to finish there, but I’m kind of happy where I’m at right now with my tennis and how it’s improving, but at the end of the day, you’re kind of still playing the same tournaments and ranking is just a number. But it will be nice to progress and just keep getting better every day.

Q. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the No. 1 singles player from a country, when that country qualifies for the ATP Cup, gets to pick the captain.

Q. Do you know that?
CAMERON NORRIE: Well, I didn’t — I think I actually heard that, yeah.

Q. So who do you think you would pick?
CAMERON NORRIE: Tough question (smiling). I think it would have to be between a couple of guys. Facu, my coach, I know he gets on well with Evo, so could be a good one.

Leon is not a bad option, either. And I get on well with Trotters, and he knows the players pretty well and he’s coached Kyle in the past. He’s another good option.

I’ll see. I don’t know. Hopefully I get to pick that one.

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