Cameron Norrie’s Surprising Journey to the Australian Open Quarter-finals

No, Alexander Zverev was not surprised. “I thought Cameron played exactly what he worked on in preparation,” the German number one replied to a reporter at the press conference in Melbourne Park.

A few hours earlier, Cameron Norrie had somewhat surprisingly defeated eleven-seeded, three-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud in the third round of the Australian Open.

Until now, the Brit was known more for his brutal fitness and long, error-free, sometimes monotonous baseline strength with a flat backhand and a topspin-oriented forehand.

Attributes that had made him one of Britain’s most consistent players in recent years. But Ruud has had few problems with these skills so far; won all three meetings between the two.

Norrie like Henman once: 56 times at the net

Norrie actually only knows the net from the obligatory handshake after the matches. On Saturday, however, Norrie rushed forward a remarkable 56 times during the game, scoring almost three quarters of the points in those rallies and surprising his opponent as well as the professional audience and media representatives.

Zverev exclusively: “I can’t determine it like Djokovic”

In his press session, Zverev explained how he and his upcoming opponent had completed parts of the preparation together in Monaco.

Both live in the principality, train at the same facility, and also meet each other when they are not working on their form together. “So I saw him every day. The net game is exactly what he worked on,” explained Zverev.

Australian Open: The further development of Cameron Norrie

Norrie, a former college player who had placed considerable emphasis on his physical development at the end of the last decade with his Argentinian coach Facundo Lugones and Czech Vasek Jursik, transformed himself into a fitness monster who was difficult to beat from the baseline.

3rd round: Norrie takes Ruud out – highlights

With these skills he made it to the semi-finals of Wimbledon (2022) and the Masters victory in Indian Wells (2021).

However, Norrie has a disastrous record against top 20 players in the four major tournaments. The victory over Ruud was only the second of its kind in the twelfth attempt. His game was considered too defensive and one-dimensional to prevail against the best players.

Preparation with volleyball experts as a recipe for success

Norrie, who added Stephen Huss to his coaching team at the end of last year, probably saw it that way himself. The Australian won the doubles competition at Wimbledon in 2005 and is not only considered a volleyball expert for that reason. The English “Telegraph” cites the two-week training phase in the winter as the reason for the now bolder game in Australia.

3rd round: Zverev gives US talent no chance – highlights

Norrie himself said: “I worked really hard on being a little more aggressive and today I managed to break free and get forward. I managed to win a lot of points at the net. I was just having fun out there . I played really freely and I enjoyed it.”

The new coach “had pretty good volleys himself,” said Norrie. “He doesn’t praise me too often, so I think he’ll be pretty happy.”

Zverev praises Norrie and still thinks about himself

This new offensive, carefree mindset doesn’t bother Zverev, but he acknowledges the development of his opponent, against whom he has yet to lose a set in four meetings.

Becker analyzes Zverev gala: “That was decisive in the game”

“His goals were clearly visible in December and you can see it on the pitch now. The work is paying off for him. In a way you can see it on a different level as he plays much more aggressively.”

Norrie will die Party crashen

“The first two matches weren’t the best, but on Saturday things went in the right direction. The best players in the world have to find their best tennis in the second week and that’s where everyone is developing,” the Olympic champion said .

Becker exclusively on Zverev’s “day off”: “It’s about biorhythm”

Carlos Alcaraz could wait in the quarter-finals, a duel eagerly awaited by many. But Norrie wants to play the party crasher. “Yesterday I sat down with Facu, my coach, and watched the (previous) games with Casper – and we talked a lot about what didn’t work.”

The hope is that as much as possible should work against Zverev. If that happens, there will be an extremely intense duel for the quarter-final ticket.

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2024-01-21 16:10:00
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