Thursday, March 17, 2022 - Cameron Norrie plays against Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Cam?
Q. Could you talk us through the injury.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah. I think it was not really much of an injury. It’s more just to check that I wasn’t going to make it worse. Obviously I’ve played a lot of tennis and, yeah, a little bit of fatigue, and, yeah, just was just checking and just tried to loosen up the hips a little bit.
And, yeah, when you’re playing a lot of matches out there you’re going to have little niggles here and there. And, yeah, I got some time to rest and I think I should be fine.
Q. Was it more the leg or abdomen, do you think?
CAMERON NORRIE: I don’t really, I talked with my team just quickly now, and I think it’s more like a hip and just tight, general tightness. Played a very physical match last night, so I’m not surprised I’m feeling a little bit, quick turnaround and, yeah, I got some time to rest and hopefully I can rest and recover and strengthen the area and be good for Miami.
Q. What is it like physically playing Brooksby? Because he has a lot of balls he gets back and puts you in awkward positions constantly. I would think that would leave you sore the next day.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah. He’s a tricky player. I really enjoyed the match last night and I thought I played great. There was a lot of people messaging me saying it was a really good match to watch.
It was a different match. There was a lot of long rallies, 20-plus ball rallies, but very physical. And on these courts when the ball’s going chewed up and he’s standing on top of the baseline just redirecting the ball and I felt like I was doing all the work. So I really enjoyed the match last night and I’m looking forward to seeing how Jenson progresses with his career. He’s got such a unique game and I think if he can improve his serve a little bit he’s going to be in the top 10 very soon.
And, yeah, it’s just really cool to see how he competes, and the way he holds his concentration is amazing, especially from such a young age. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.
Q. Can you compare 18-year-old Cam Norrie to 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz? Does he feel like he’s, you’re playing a 18-year-old and what were you like at that age on a tennis court?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah. It’s good question. Definitely nowhere near as complete as he was when he was 18 right now and the way he’s moving and he’s got a full game. He’s got a great serve. He’s moving well. He’s, his forehand’s dangerous. His backhand’s dangerous. He’s got great hands.
So, yeah, he’s got me twice already. So, yeah, when I was 18 I was nothing on my forehand and I was heading to TCU. I had no pressure. Yeah, I had a lot of other interests as well at that time. Yeah, it’s very cool to see him that focused and that engaged and maximizing what he’s got with all the talent that he’s got. Yeah, he was too good today for me.
Q. Carlos is progressing rather rapidly. I wonder if you see any difference in him from when you faced him at the US Open to today.
CAMERON NORRIE: I definitely played a little bit better today and I think he’s just a little bit more comfortable in these bigger matches and he’s obviously not played too many of these big matches in the quarters of a 1000. Facing him today he played great and he played very solid match and he served a lot better than I did and I was a little bit disappointed with the way I served.
But no, he played a very good match and it was a high level out there and I really enjoyed it.
Q. You’ve faced a lot of fast guys on tour. Where do you put his speed on the chart?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah. He’s always getting there and he’s so talented. The foot positioning and the way he slides and trusts is amazing. But, yeah, I think maybe four or five points that you would think it’s completely done. He’s getting it back there and then putting it in an awkward position.
For me, I would put him right next to Demon in the speed category and I would say top 3, for sure.
Q. Who’s the third?
CAMERON NORRIE: I don’t know. I’m not sure. But maybe Schwartzman’s up there, but I think he’s a little bit more explosive than those guys as well.
Q. How gratifying is it after this tournament, which you won and surprised a lot of people by winning, to be backing it up with the runs you’ve had this year, Acapulco and then a solid run here as well? Do you take pride in consolidating that breakout you had here?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, for sure. I think it’s always nice to back that up and know that it wasn’t just a one-off event. I won obviously Delray and then Acapulco and got a lot of matches under my belt and I felt like I was playing at the level that I was last year, so it’s nice to feel like myself again.
And, yeah, just for me, I was a little bit disappointed with the way I served a little bit today and physically it’s not really, usually I don’t have matches where I’ve, physically it let’s me down, and I think today it did a little bit.
I just need to go back and get better and stronger. And, yeah, but still a great week for me and happy to make the quarters, and I’m looking forward to seeing the match on Saturday. Rafa versus Carlos will be a good one.
Q. You’re pretty close to the top 10 now in terms of points. Is this something you would target in terms of scheduling, maybe adding another tournament to make a push to get there before clay? Is that something you’re excited about?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, for me it’s a big goal to be top 10 and it would be nice to tick that box, but it doesn’t really mean anything. I feel like I’ve got a lot of time left in my career and I want to push to even higher goals and I feel like just taking care of what I’ve been doing day by day and making all the best decisions possible on the court, off the court, and keep pushing for more and keep improving when I can and I feel like I’ve got a lot of things in my game that I want to improve on and I don’t think I’m going to change my schedule at all just to be top 10 for a week or something like that.
I would love to be there inside the top 10 and consolidate myself there for the next 10 years of my career and this is when I’m going to be peaking in my career in the next kind of three, four years and I just want to make the most of it and I want to keep enjoying playing at the level that I am right now.
Q. Do you anticipate there being a time when you’re not happy with making the quarters, that you’ll be disappointed if all you made is the quarters? Do you see that trajectory?
CAMERON NORRIE: I’m pretty disappointed right now, like after losing that. But I think there’s a lot of positives can I take from this week. And, yeah, I mean, if you just put it in perspective it’s obviously great to make another quarters here, but you still want to push further and want more.
That’s the funny thing about tennis. You would say I would have signed for being quarters here maybe two years ago and then suddenly I’m here and I’m disappointed and I think for me it’s a good thing. I want more and I want to keep going after the guys ahead of me. And, yeah, it’s just funny how it works, but it’s definitely a good thing.
Q. Where would you say that your serve went wrong? You mentioned that you weren’t pleased with your performance in that aspect.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think he was doing a very good job of attacking my second serve and obviously he’s been doing that well all week. I just think I wasn’t hitting the spot as well as I have been all tournament, but, yeah, and slightly too many first serves missed and gave him the opportunity to attack my second.
And, yeah, all credit to him. He was, at times that I did hit my spot, he was neutralizing hitting it deep and then using his speed to neutralize the point and try to be the one dictating play.
But I think I did a lot of things well, but I think in that department I, it let me down slightly. But it was a great match and all credit to him kind of coming out there and taking advantage of the situation and played a little bit more aggressive and served a bit better than me in the bigger moments.
Q. How was your defending champion experience here now that it’s wrapped up, just getting the mural obviously and stuff? Did it feel different here?
CAMERON NORRIE: It was the first time being the defending champ, so, yeah, that mural and that day was very cool, unveiling that and seeing that, being around the history and the legends of the game. You know, just one of the biggest tournaments in the world, so that was very cool.
And then, yeah, it was a lot of fun playing here and I was a little bit disappointed by the schedule on the first day. I think it showed a little bit lack of respect. Other than that it was great and I enjoyed it and it was great to see the fans back and it was absolutely packed on the weekend and packed today and it was a great atmosphere out there.
I enjoyed playing on that court and I got a lot of support from, a lot of Brits around, a lot of TCU fans. So, yeah, enjoyed the week. It’s just a little disappointing not going further, but you can’t win them all.
Q. Did you talk to anyone at the tournament about the scheduling? Because a lot of people were surprised to see you on 5 as defending champ.
CAMERON NORRIE: I didn’t talk to anyone. Yeah, it is what it is. Nothing you can do. But I was still in the tournament and, yeah, it was interesting, but I wasn’t always on Court 1 all of the matches, I was only for the last two, so obviously there was a lot of, there were a lot of seeds not playing and obviously on my side of the draw was stacked with the scheduling, but at least two or three — in any other tournament it would be fine, but I was a little bit disappointed to see that, but it is what it is. Every court’s the same, but it was all good in the end.
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