Written by Staff Writer
Cameron Norrie is the newest member of the Queen’s tennis court, after he stunned top seeds Kyle Edmund and Jack Sock on Tuesday at the ATP Rogers Cup in Toronto, defeating them 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the tournament.
His latest victory cements the young Briton’s status as the British players’ most promising challenger on the men’s tour.
Like the likes of Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and Tim Henman, 26-year-old Norrie’s winning style is built around an elegant return, and is reaping rewards.
Norrie made the Australian Open first round in 2017, his first Grand Slam event of any kind, and has since progressed into the second round of three consecutive ATP tour events.
“He’s incredibly coachable,” Frederic Tcheng, one of Norrie’s coaches, tells CNN Sport. “The thing about Cameron is he works hard with the coach when they’re together in practice, which is the biggest point of difference for a kid in his condition.”
A game full of forehands
The match against Edmund and Sock brought Norrie’s record in Toronto to 2-0 and to 28-15 in 2017 as well as continuing a trend of good form that sees the young Briton win three of his last four events.
He is among the sport’s most decorated young talents, after achieving the world ranking of 167 in 2016, but has yet to win his first tournament. Norrie also lost to Roger Federer in the first round of Wimbledon this year.
His crosscourt serve is like a church bell, he says, with ball boys and girls “trying to chase it down and catch it.”
Despite the meteoric rise of the Great Britain’s climbing up the ranks of the tour in recent years, the country has yet to produce a home-grown singles champion in the first two rounds of the US Open since Chris Woodbridge in 1995.
Norrie may be the latest British player to step in to fill the gap, and while the Englishman Murray has already won five Grand Slam titles — and is poised to win his eighth — it has not been an easy climb.
Norrie admits that right now the next goal is the US Open: “If that’s going to be the one I finish off 2017 for, then for sure.”
Read more: A look at the Queen’s tennis court
A match between Norrie and Stan Wawrinka, the 2018 Australian Open runner-up and the World No. 6, could not have been on his 2016 mind. But instead of fizzling out, there is a real belief that this could be the weekend.
“I’ve had to learn from those experiences,” Norrie says. “Afterwards you kind of have a good outlook, learn the mistakes and I’ve tried to use that.”
It took three months for the confidence to regain that starting position on the ATP tour, he says, but confidence and adrenaline are now building and this has made all the difference.
“When I was playing I definitely didn’t believe it was as close as that was right there on court,” he adds. “You could just feel it in the air. Now, I just try to have that same feeling I had three or four months ago.”