Roland Garros

Monday, 23 May 2022

Paris, France

Cameron Norrie

Press Conference

C. NORRIE/M. Guinard

7-5, 6-2, 6-2

Q. How does it feel to come in so soon after winning a title?

CAMERON NORRIE: You know, I don't mind it. I came in and it's straight to business. It's not, I usually have some days practice and you're seeing everyone and everyone's saying hi to everyone, it was pretty quick for me. I rocked up, had a quick practice today with Casper and then today I'm playing a match. So it just felt like another match for me, and I don't mind that at all.

So, like I say, it was good preparation from last week.

Q. Is the title, would you say, the sign of your progress on this surface and where would you say you are in terms of the things you're working on trying to get your forehand into the mix as much as possible, etcetera?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think if you look at the guys I beat last week, they're all clay court dogs, you know, they love the clay and I managed to tough those guys out, all tough matches and I think they were all top-50 players who their best surface is clay.

So for me to win that title and to come through that was great for me and, yeah, like you said, it's just trying to look for my forehand a little bit more and try to dictate with that. And it's a bit more difficult today, especially with the conditions, Leon was really hot and pretty lively conditions and then here today after the rain and everything it was really tough to finish points.

Q. You quite like the French crowd out there. Do you quite enjoy that, being up against that atmosphere?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, it was great. That court is so cool. Really good atmosphere and it's kind of dug in a little bit and it almost feels like an indoor court and great acoustics, the court holds almost the volume and when you're hitting the ball as well, so it's a really cool court.

And then obviously to play against a French guy who had a really good run in the first set there and then it was looking tricky. But yeah, it was great atmosphere and I really enjoyed the match and it was a good start for me.

Q. You had a lot of pressure there, there was one game about 20 minutes long it felt like. And I remember that match out on Court 7 a few years ago where you were playing a Frenchman and it kind of got away from you and thinking maybe that was a sign of how far you have come, the way you absorbed the kind of early pressure that he put on you and the crowd put on you.

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I was thinking about that too as well before I played this guy today. It was kind of similar conditions, kind of rainy and I didn't really get my foot in the match at all. So took a lot of learning, that was a brutal loss for me, that one, and, yeah, learned from that.

And then today it was, I think that what, how long, 25-minute game, whatever it was or 15-minute game. I think it was good for me, I won that and then made a super physical first set, 7-5 and I managed to almost raise my intensity and keep the rallies long. And I think he dropped off just slightly and I was able to keep the same level for two hours and I felt really good as well so I could keep doing it for a lot longer.

Q. You spoke in the buildup about your parents being here. Talk about how important it is for you to have them during the course of this French Open run, and how it lifts your spirits having your parents in your corner, if you like.

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, like I said yesterday, it's just good for them to enjoy the tennis and be out of New Zealand and be out enjoying Europe in the summer. And for me to have them around and hang out with them, going to dinners with them is great. I didn't spend a lot of time with them over the last two years, so that's great.

And then obviously I want to play well for them as well. But it's just another factor, and I did that today and I really enjoyed having them here. Hopefully they're enjoying the tennis too. My dad is out there now watching some of the matches. He's watching Emma right now, so he's loving it.

Q. You did feel a bit like you did your boa constrictor thing because he was knackered by the end of the first set. He looked exhausted. You're quite good at kind of grinding the energy out of people, and I guess this is a good tournament to do it at, best of five on clay?

CAMERON NORRIE: Exactly, and especially when the conditions are like that and slow and tough to finish points. I think that first service game from him in the second set he really looked like he ran out of steam there. He kept doing the same stuff and the rallies were kind of the same. He was going to my backhand and I was going deep and then I would switch to my backhand line, and then I was just hitting deep with the forehand until I managed to get one shorter.

So you have to be so patient, especially I kind of noticed the guy was dropping off physically. You just want to keep playing long points and long points, and I managed to do that and free up a little bit in the second set. And third set I was moving great. It was tough for him to get free points as well in the third set, and I was able to finish a lot of points with my forehand.

Q. Do you feel like your mentality and your expectations are different this time around than previous Roland Garroses?

CAMERON NORRIE: I think it's just, for me I'm more just locked in on the level and locked in on my next opponent. I feel like I'm a more experienced player and better player than I was a couple of years ago. And, yeah, I mean I feel the same, but just my game's improved and I just got to keep backing it up every day.

I'm still really enjoying playing at this level. Still I'm not a guy that I'm going to come out and just blast guys off the court and win easy with that. I'm going to take time grinding the guy down, like you said. And, yeah, I have to use my legs a lot and run and run the guy down, otherwise I have no shot with these guys and their level. So I always got to do it the hard way and I managed to do that more and more on this surface.

Q. When Dan Evans won today he celebrated with a mock golf swing. I just wondered, are you guys all keen golfers in the British pack and if so who is the best golfer and is there a bit of banter about the golf and who is got the best handicap?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I know Evo loves his golf and a lot of us too as well. So I don't know, I think Joe Salisbury, he's playing the most, and he travels with his clubs a little bit, so I feel like he has no excuse to be the best.

Evo is close with him as well and Jonny O'Mara I think actually has the lowest handicap. But, yeah, I'm way off those guys' level and I'm pretty hit or miss.

Q. What's your handicap?

CAMERON NORRIE: I think -- I haven't played in a while I had an absolute shocking round, I feel like I needed a month off. So I think it's 13, 14, but I'm pretty erratic. Unlike my tennis, I'm opposite, I can hit really good shots and shocking shots. So I'm good for a scramble, for sure. I still love golf and playing all the time when I'm home, but not to those guys' level.

Q. I know you faced Carlos quite a bit in this season and I wanted to ask a question about dropshots and defending against him. Is there something that sticks out to you about the way he uses his dropshot, disguise maybe or is it just simply his power and then what in your mind makes a really good dropshot, particularly on this surface?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think for Carlos, his ability to disguise it, he has the same take back that he's going to absolutely blast a forehand and then suddenly he's coming through pretty quickly and hitting the dropshot and he keeps it very low. And then he's really good at the next one, passing you or following it in and off both sides, so you have to be ready the whole time. He's mixing it well and he executes that shot so good.

So he's got the hands to do it and then he's got the surprise factor of also absolutely just crushing a forehand winner as well as having the dropshot there, so you have to be ready for both.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120604-1-1063 2022-05-23 17:49:00 GMT

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