Despite suffering defeat on his Nitto ATP Finals debut on Wednesday, Cameron Norrie revealed that he loved the experience of competing at the Pala Alpitour in Turin and was happy with his performance against Casper Ruud.
The 26-year-old is the second alternate at the season finale and only had hours to prepare for his Green Group match after he replaced Stefanos Tsitsipas, who withdrew due to an elbow injury.
“I enjoyed every second out there and I was feeling good in practise and was ready to play and compete,” said Norrie. “I came out firing and loved the match. It just came down to a couple games in the second and third sets. I was really happy with my level.
“This week has been incredible for me so far. I was using it as a training block heading into the Davis Cup, so [it is] a bonus to get a couple if matches in here. It is huge for the experience.”[FOLLOW FINALS]
The Briton has enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 season, earning a career-best 50 tour-level wins. Norrie captured his first tour-level title at the Mifel Open in Los Cabos in August and claimed his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last month.
The lefty stated that the success and experience he has gained this year helped him on his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals.
“It was one of the biggest matches for my career, so I just tried to learn from Indian Wells and take from that the experience, the emotions, playing big matches and playing well under the pressure there,” said Norrie. “It has been a lot of fun playing at this level and playing at this level all year.
“I was really happy with how I handled the match [with Ruud] and how I approached it. I was basically out there playing for free as the second alternate. I had nothing to lose and I came out firing. All credit to Casper, that is the best I have ever seen him serve.”
Norrie will face Green Group winner Novak Djokovic in his final match on Friday. The 26-year-old has played Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at majors this season, but has never met the World No. 1 before. It is an opportunity Norrie is relishing.
“I can’t wait,” Norrie said. “I have never played Novak before or practised with him, so it is a first for me. I am looking forward to it. I watched him today and he is firing and really feeling the ball well. He is really good in these conditions. It is quite quick the court. It is going to be difficult, but I am looking forward to it. I am going to see if I belong and can compete with a guy like that.”