Cam Norrie reflects on his 2023 season, the upcoming Australian swing and the return of Rafael Nadal
• 3 MINUTE READ
Cam Norrie has landed back on home soil after what was another whirl-wind year on the ATP Tour.
2023 proved to be a testing year for the British No.1 who sealed his fifth ATP tour-level title in Rio de Janeiro back in February after defeating Carlos Alcaraz, before reaching the quarter-finals in Indian Wells.
From there, the 28-year-old has experienced many highs and lows but looked back on the year with plenty to be proud of and lessons to carry forward into his seventh year on the professional tour.
We caught up with Norrie at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Roehampton as he began his pre-season preparations ahead to the Australian summer swing, which is set to get underway in just a matter of weeks.
“It was disappointing for me to finish the year how I did but there’s still a lot of positives to take away” Norrie said, reflecting on his season. “I think there was a lot of good stuff and a lot of learning to do. I still managed to win a title in Rio so that was obviously a big highlight for me.
“There’s a lot of things I’d still like to achieve. I want to play well at the big tournaments and keep learning and going. I know I’ve got it in me to win some big tournaments because I done that already, so I just need to keep going.”
Norrie wrapped up the season by heading to the Davis Cup Finals in Malaga, when he and the Lexus Great Britain Davis Cup team took on Serbia in the quarter-final. Facing one of the toughest challenges in tennis – a meeting against Novak Djokovic – Norrie produced one of the most inspiring performances of his season but narrowly lost out to the world No.1 in a 6-4, 6-4 loss.
Since then, the Brit has been grinding away in the pre-season to prepare himself for a busy start to the season down under, with the United Cup being the first stop on his schedule where he holds fond memories from last year.
“I really like the weather in Australia, it’s very hot and the conditions are quite quick and lively. The Aussies love their sport and always get around the tennis and you can really feel that – the atmosphere there is always great.
“The level I was playing there (the United Cup) at the beginning of this year was great. It’s a wonderful event to start the year – it’s obviously a mixed event and you’re up against some top players.
“We play Australia on 29 December. It’s a good goal to be ready for and I’m going to do everything I can to make myself available for that. We’re all pretty good friends and get along really well.”
2022 marked the inaugural year of the United Cup and saw Norrie rise to the challenge against a strong field of opponents – recording wins against America’s Taylor Fritz and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, who recently confirmed his imminent return to the ATP tour following an injury that put his career in doubt.
“For him (Nadal), it’s amazing” Norrie said. “He always comes back really strong, and I think he’s going to be playing really well.
“He’s a dangerous guy to come up against, I’ve already had some tough battles with him, but it will be great for tennis to have him back. I’m excited for him but it’s going to be tough to play him again for sure”.
With Norrie already putting in the hard work on and off the court, 2022 Wimbledon semi-finalist has set his sights on some major events coming up over the next 12 months. Norrie highlights his excitement at the prospect of representing his country for the first time at the 2024 Paris Olympics and having another shot at bringing home the Davis Cup trophy, after the Brits were rewarded with a wild card to the Group Stages after their strong run in this year’s competition.
“There’s a lot for us to look forward to next year – it’s obviously an Olympics year next year and I’m excited for the Davis Cup. Getting a wild card to the Group Stages was huge.
“I’m enjoying my tennis still, I’m hungry and want more but there’s still a lot to do and a lot to work on. I’ve got three weeks of pre-season. I’d like for it to be longer but I have a great team around me so I’m going to work as hard as I can to get ready for the first match.”
You can watch Norrie and the rest of the Great Britain United Cup team in action down under, with the tournament kick-starting on the 29 December.