Challenger Q&A: Norrie Reacts To Tiburon Title
Cameron Norrie entered the final week of July at No. 275 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. What the Brit has done since is nothing short of remarkable. Norrie clinched his second ATP Challenger Tour crown on Sunday in Tiburon, soaring to a career-high No. 136. He has now won 21 of his last 25 matches, including a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tennys Sandgren for the title. The former Texas Christian University standout had won his maiden title in Binghamton two months ago.
A second trophy for you, Cam. Compare where you are now to where you were before Binghamton.
Ranking wise, I feel I am making improvements. I am coming forward a bit more and my volleys have gotten better. I just feel way more confident now and there's a place in the Top 100 that I have a very good chance of making. I'm enjoying my tennis and working to improve every day. I'm in a good place mentally.
On a grander scale, how is your body holding up in doing this week in and week out?
My body is perfect. It's been a physical week and it's good shape. I haven't really given myself a chance to test it mentally because I haven't played too many tournaments in a row. In the grass-court season, I did it slightly but it's different because they weren't many Challengers. I'm going to see how these tournaments pan out and I know I'm going to go away mentally at some point, but I'll test it and see how far I can go while sustaining my level. It will be a good learning curve over the next couple of tournaments and going into the indoor swing as well. I'm looking forward to that.
In the Tiburon final, you've known that Tennys has the ability to track down many balls. It looked like he was struggling with depth early and you were being more aggressive. Then, it switched early in the second set. What adjustments did you have to make?
At the end of the first and start of the second, I was winning the majority of the longer rallies. That's what [coach] Facu [Lugones] told me. Tennys enjoys those long points and that's how he wins most of his matches. He started to overpress slightly and that's how I broke him. At the start of the second, he came at me very aggressively and I managed to absorb his pace and battle through a couple of tough service games. It was a good match and very clean for me.
It looked like a routine scoreline, but it was far from it. What happened with all those double faults? You had six in two games.
I have no idea where that came from. My second serve completely went away there. I tightened up a little bit and started thinking about the future and about winning the tournament. I need to stay in the present and relax a little bit. I've hit millions of second serves in my life. I know I can do it, but I managed to bring it back mentally. I didn't hit any more at the end of the match. I've been struggling with double faults all tournament, but I managed to bring it back each time. I'm really proud with where my focus is.
What did you learn about going from Binghamton to Lexington in July, in terms of how you comport yourself the week after winning a Challenger?
It's going to be tough and I've played a lot of matches. In Lexington, I didn't play a great match right after winning the title, so I know what to expect now. I just want to take this momentum into the next tournament. I know not to panic. In my first match in Lexington I was getting down on myself, so I know to just relax and focus on my game and let things happen. There's going to be ups and downs.
What are you doing to celebrate?
I'm going to San Francisco with one of my good friends, one of my old teammates at TCU. Then, I'm leaving for [the Challenger in] Stockton. I'll enjoy it now and get back on the road to prepare for my next match. Not much celebrating, but hopefully after the next tournament.