Surprise winner of the Indian Wells Masters 1000, the 26-year-old Briton scored his greatest victory on the circuit. Discovery of a supporting role, finally in the light.
A Briton born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 years ago, to a Scottish father and Welsh mother, Cameron Norrie moved with his family to Auckland, New Zealand at the age of 3. It was in Aukland, where his parents still live, that he spent his childhood. He represented New Zealand as a junior, but moved to London at the age of 16 and became a British citizen to receive more financial support than in New Zealand. He has been representing Great Britain in the Davis Cup since 2017. As a globetrotter, he decided to continue his studies in the United States at Texas Christian University (TCU), where he studied sociology on a scholarship and competed in the university championships. He even became number 1 in the rankings of American college tennis and decided to turn pro, only in 2017, at the age of 22. According to the ATP website, Norrie was ready to work in the finance industry, had he not made it into the pro world.
Indian Wells, his first major career title
Before this coup in California, Cameron Norrie was not really the man for big dates. He who has never passed the stage of the third round in a Grand Slam (3rd round at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year and US Open 2020), had only beaten one top before 2021 10, John Isner in Lyon in 2018… This year, he dominated two (Rublev in San Diego and Thiem in Lyon). In Indian Wells, where the biggest seeds fell like flies, he was “content” to dominate Roberto Bautista Agut (15th), Diego Schwartzman (11th) and Grigor Dimitrov (23rd), then enforced his status in the final against the other surprise Nikoloz Basilavashili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Six finals contested in 2021 like…. Djokovic
Before 2021, Norrie had reached only one final on the main circuit, it was in Auckland in 2019. After Estoril, Lyon, the Queen’s, Los Cabos and San Diego, he played last night in Indian Wells his sixth final of the l ‘year. In 2021, he is tied with Djokovic, ahead of Ruud (5), Medvedev (5) and Tsitsipas (5). Just that. He had unlocked his meter in Los Cabos. His victory in a Masters 1000, the best of his career obviously, allows him to jump from 26th to 15th place, his best career ranking, and become the new British number ahead of Daniel Evans. With this Masters 1000 in his pocket, he is even completely relaunched in the Masters race (he is 11th in the Race).
Left-handed and tireless blocker
His victim in the final Basilashvili summed up: “It’s really not easy to play from the depths. He plays smart. ” If he is not the most spectacular player on the circuit, the southpaw has this ability to keep pace with his flat backhand and topspin forehand and crack his opponent. As a short marathon runner. “I’ve always been a good runner, he confided to Daily Mail. My mom has always done marathons, so I have good genes. And I did a lot of cross country.“He believes, especially having crossed a milestone in the service, a long time a weak point of his game. “The difference with previous years is that I think a lot less on the court. It is also due to my progress in service. I hit the ball better in the important moments of matches. ”
Faithful to his Argentinian coach
The Briton has been working since 2017 with the same coach who is also one of his best friends: the Argentinian Facundo Lugones. The two met when Norrie was playing at Texas Christian University. “Facu” Lugones was also studying there, after a disenchanted break in the professional world. Between 2009 and 2011, the Argentinian indeed had a short career on the Futures circuit (3e pro division) with the best ranking (1337e worldwide in 2010). After graduating from American university in 2017, he quickly decided to start coaching with his buddy. A collaboration that is bearing fruit today.