Cameron Norrie reflects on impressive year as he sets sights on world No 1 ranking

Cameron Norrie

It is not always easy to back up a brilliant season, but Cameron Norrie has managed to produce another great year yet he hopes there is more to come over the next few years.

Norrie surged into the top 20 of the ATP Rankings last year after winning his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title, Indian Wells Open, and he eventually finished the year at No 12.

Although he failed to defend his Indian Wells title this year, he produced better results on bigger stages as he reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time, reaching the semi-final of his home major, Wimbledon, losing against eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the last four.

He also reached the fourth round at the US Open and was a semi-finalist at the Cincinnati Masters. On the back of his two Grand Slam runs, Norrie broke into the top 10 of the ATP Rankings in October.

“It’s been a great year, especially being able to back up last year was huge for me,” he told The National. “There were a lot of highlights, especially Wimbledon, making the semi-finals and having my family and friends there watching and supporting.

“But from there it was straight into focusing on the next events. As a tennis player you don’t really get to enjoy when you’re doing well, but looking back, having some time off resting in London, I’ve been going through a few things and there are definitely some highlights.

“On the flip side, as a player you always want more and I think there are some areas where I could or should have done more, but you look at it and it was a great year. I want to do even more next year so there are a few things to work on as well.”

The 27-year-old, who won the Delray Beach Open and Lyon Open this year, finished the season at No 14, but he is setting his sights much higher.

“There are a lot more eyes on me now: going into Wimbledon as British No 1 then having the run I did, I feel like I am more well known in the UK. But for me, that is not the goal: it’s to be world No 1,” he said.

“So, I’m not really thinking about that. There are still 13 players better than me so I need to improve.”

In order to become better, Norrie will need to prove himself over and over against the best in the world and he will be up against the elite when he takes part in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi from December 16-18.

World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev will all feature in the exhibition event that is being used as a warm-up for the 2023 Australian summer.

“I wanted to be around the best players in the world and there’s no better place to do that than in a beautiful city and with nice weather, playing outside and similar conditions to Australia,” Norrie, who faces Tsitsipas in his first match, said. “I don’t think I’ve played my best in Australia, so I wanted to try something different and I was fortunate to get the call up to this event.

“To play these important matches before even more important matches in Australia will help for my goals and my expectations so it’s cool to be involved in this tournament.”

READ MORE: How Cameron Norrie aims to become a tougher player to face