While frustrated at falling short of his targets at grand slam level this season, Cameron Norrie is determined to tick off another major career goal by the end of the year.
The English star, who is in China for the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships on Saturday, believes he is “going to be pretty dangerous” in the latter stages of 2023. The 28-year-old is in 15th position in the Pepperstone ATP Tour Race to Turin.
But Norrie is confident he is hitting the ball well enough to make a big leap forward over the next month in Asia and believes he can qualify for the ATP Tour Finals.
“At the start of the year that was a huge goal (but) there were a couple of things that got in the way of that, mostly in the level of my tennis,” he said.
“I've been really working hard to bring the quality up again in my practice sessions and my team has been great with me and I think I'm ready to have a big week again.
“Honestly, in previous years, I've thought I've played my best tennis here in Asia, but I never had a really big result. Someone always came up and beat me and played well against me. “But I think I'm going to be pretty dangerous these next few weeks. It's going to take someone very good to stop me.”
Norrie, who rides his bike to the All England Lawn Tennis Club during Wimbledon, was a semi-finalist there last year and also reached the last 16 in New York in a strong season. He put an emphasis on excelling in the majors this year but was only able to reach the third rounds at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
Norrie, who defeated Carlos Alcaraz to win the Rio Open during a strong start to the season, said he needs to sustain his form and concentration for longer in grand slams.
“I was really going into the season to try to prioritize the grand slams and I was not able to play my best at those tournaments and I was very disappointed with that,” he said.
“I think I can learn a lot from how I handled those weeks … and I think, over five sets, I should be tougher to beat.
“But I'm going to have to go away and work really hard with my team in the off-season and really embrace the grand slams in the future.”
Norrie arrived in Zhuhai after tough singles losses to Stan Wawrinka and Ugo Humbert during the Davis Cup qualifying rounds held in Manchester last week.
But he said being around his compatriots as Great Britain booked a spot in the Davis Cup Finals with a thrilling victory over France was an “insane ending” to a “crazy week”.
“I’ve have actually never felt so good after getting chopped, losing two matches. I was able to come away feeling so good and it is not often you have that in tennis,” he said.
“It was a huge honor to represent my country again and I definitely took a lot of positives from the week and I was really happy with the way it finished.”
Norrie looked in good form when practicing with Tomas Matin Etcheverry in Zhuhai on Friday ahead of his first match for the tournament against Australian qualifier Marc Polmans.
The diligence of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings No.17 was on display on Thursday as he watched Polmans closely during the Australian’s opening round win over Dane Sweeny. “It feels good to be back and I definitely missed this part of the year, because the last few years it was straight into the indoor season. It feels good to be back,” he said.