Cameron Norrie broke into the world’s top 10 earlier this year and is confident he can make an impact at Wimbledon; “Being better than the other guy in the bigger moments. That’s what tennis comes down to.”
By PA Media
Last Updated: 20/06/22 7:35am
Cameron Norrie heads to Wimbledon as British No 1 for the first time and is seeking to finally reach the second week of a grand slam.
Being the nation’s top-ranked male player at SW19 weighed heavy on many shoulders in the past until Andy Murray ended the 77-year wait for a champion in 2013.
But laid-back Norrie, who was born in South Africa to Welsh mother Helen and Scottish father David before being brought up in Auckland, does not get fazed by the expectations of the home crowd.
The 26-year-old, who broke into the world’s top 10 earlier this year, is confident he can break the glass ceiling and get past the third round at a major tournament.
“I think it’s just putting myself in that situation time and time again,” he said.
“Being better than the other guy in the bigger moments. That’s what tennis comes down to.
“I’m looking forward to it. I really like the grass and the vibe around the grass, and being at home.”
Certainly Norrie is looking forward to some home comforts. At last year’s tournament, played under coronavirus restrictions, all the players had to stay in a central London hotel and get a bus to the Wimbledon site – which actually took Norrie past his own digs.
“I think it’s always an advantage, sleeping in your own bed, being familiar with your room and everything,” he said.
“It’s going to be nice so I’m looking forward to that and just being close – that drive was a killer last year from central London to Wimbledon.
“It was like a good hour every day, so it’s going to be nice to be 10 minutes and I’m there.
“I was literally driving past it every day last year, seeing it from the bus and thinking ‘wow I could easily be staying there right now’. That was frustrating.”
Murray is now 35 and facing yet more fitness worries ahead of the championships, but the two-time champion’s legacy will endure for a long time.
Jack Draper, who took a set off eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the first round last year, is trying to emulate the Scot on and off the court.
“I obviously was able to watch him a lot at an early age. I think he was in his prime when I was eight until 14,” said 20-year-old Draper.
“Watching him and being able to see the lessons, just from his game, without knowing him, was great.
“Then obviously I’ve had the chance to hit with him and get to know him during the last part of his career.
“I think for a young player like myself, having that sort of influence, and being able to be around that on a daily basis and understand because at the end of the day, Andy’s a champion.
“So to understand his habits and the way he lives his life in order to be a top tennis player definitely gives me a lot of lessons and a lot of confidence that I can hopefully go down the same path.”