Novak Djokovic gives his verdict after clinical victory over Cameron Norrie

Novak Djokovic

Cameron Norrie has been one of the most consistent performers at the ATP Tour this year, but he had no answer to a clinical Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals in Turin. 

The British number one took on the world number one for the first time in a fitting end to the best year of his career and he was handed a reminder of how far he needs to go to match the very best.

Norrie, 26, had his moments; a couple of sizzling passing shots and a break point in the second, but he was left in no doubt about the gulf in class between Djokovic and those in the chasing pack following a 6-2 6-1 defeat.

Djokovic, who plays Alexander Zverev in the last four, said in his on-court interview: “I tried not to think about tomorrow. It’s not easy to walk onto a court knowing that you already qualified, you know your opponent, you know the schedule.

“I tried to be professional. I respect everyone I play and the crowd want to see a match so I tried to give my best. I played really well and took the tie away from Cameron really.

“My tennis gets better and better every match. I couldn’t be more satisfied with my tennis prior to possibly the two most important matches in the tournament.

“Sascha (Zverev) is playing well. He is obviously one of the best players in the world, arguably the best serve, it is definitely up there. It is going to be tough. The conditions are quick, so that will be one of the keys, how well will I serve and return.

Norrie’s reward for 50 match wins, a maiden ATP title at Indian Wells and a climb to 12th in the world was entry into the Finals as second alternate following injuries to Matteo Berrettini and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Cameron Norrie
Cameron Norrie shakes hands with Novak Djokovic

Defeat by Casper Ruud scuppered any chance of progressing to the semi-finals and with Djokovic already through, the round-robin stage ended with a dead rubber.

But if anyone queried five-time winner Djokovic’s motivation he immediately proved them wrong, racing away with the first set in 28 minutes.

“I think I played a couple of loose points in the first service game and he relaxed a little bit there, but I’ve watched him quite a lot and he was very solid, he gave me nothing really,” said Norrie. “I knew he had a good serve. I didn’t really know it was going to be this good. I think he had a very good serving day. He was very relaxed and even going after the second serve at times.

“For my level and for me to compete with him, I think there were too many free points, too many easy points in there. But I think it comes down a little bit to the fact you’re playing him, and you try to overplay at times. He was too good, very relaxed, he’s playing amazing and the conditions are perfect for him. Too good for me today.”