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February 14, 2021

Cameron Norrie

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

R. NADAL/C. Norrie

7-5, 6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A tough match tonight. Can you talk us through it.

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, it was tough. Always gonna be nice to play a big dog like Rafa. Just kind of a bit strange playing the other night on Thursday and such a great atmosphere and good crowd, and then coming out there on the biggest court with no one there and it was pretty dull. But I think I played okay.

I was just a little bit disappointed with a couple of -- some execution, especially in the first set, and he didn't really have to work too hard to get that first set. Then I did well to hang in there in the third.

But, yeah, all credit to him. He was just pretty proactive on his service games. Yeah, it was just a couple loose errors and I was right in there in the match, but it was, yeah, just bit disappointing with some loose errors there.

Q. It's never easy, probably never been harder to reach the round of 16. The way you played Rafa tonight, does that make you feel more encouraged that you're close or how do you look at it in the wake of this?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think it was a fairly close match and, yeah, there are some positives to take from that. But I think more I just left the court feeling like I want to get better and want to, definitely some things to work on.

Yeah, I mean, it's nice to play him. Yeah, I had a couple of chances, but, yeah, I need to get better. It was a great experience and I want to learn from it, yeah.

Q. I was wondering how you felt your game stacked up against Rafa today. You said you had some pretty good moments where you looked on top at points. Did you feel this was another kind of reminder to you that you are capable of getting up in the rankings and can compete with these very top guys?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think he played pretty smart. I was going a lot into his backhand, and he was using his slice line out to my forehand to neutralize.

I don't think he wanted to get into kind of backhand-to-backhand rallies with me. I think that's where I could hurt him, so I think he was tactically pretty smart from the get-go.

Yeah, it definitely gives me a lot of confidence that I could play close, but it was a bit frustrating. I mean, there was a lot of, especially in that first set I had a lot of chances, and, yeah, just a couple loose points and a couple of errors and that can cost him, and he didn't make those and I did. That was that set. And then again in the second set, as well.

Yeah, a lot of positives to take and a lot of things that I want to get better at and a lot of stuff I want to tidy up in my game.

But, yeah, I think I want more from myself. Yeah, it was obviously tough to play him, but, yeah, it was a good experience altogether.

Q. You had obviously seen lots of Rafa before, I'm sure on TV and in the flesh. What was it like being on the receiving end of some of his shots? Did it surprise you at all the weight of some of his forehands, the spin he puts on the ball?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think the biggest thing for me was when I was returning and if I didn't get the return in the right place and he was getting on a forehand, I was almost drawing dead in the rally. He was getting there, getting set, and then he was pumping me into one corner and then the ball was kind of dropping short. That was huge for me to kind of get the return into his backhand side.

And I think once I did that and I was in the rally, I think I dictated a lot of the rallies when it was like that and I was using my backhand, and I think he was getting a little bit uncomfortable.

But, yeah, when he was set on his forehand and, yeah, he's obviously real dangerous and just kind of flies past you at some points.

Yeah, it was good. But, yeah, it was a great experience. Yeah, it was nice. I wanted to be the one being proactive in the rallies and being the one kind of moving him around, but it was obviously tough to do on his service games. Yeah, he took care of his service games better than I did.

Q. Just wondered, after this, there is a lot of uncertainty about the schedule going forward. Do you have any sort of idea what you'll do from here? Because different restrictions in different countries. I also wondered, as well, does the ban on international flights to Melbourne affect you in terms of heading out of the country?

CAMERON NORRIE: First of all, my dad will be pumped with the shirt you've got on at the moment, the Rangers shirt. I like that a lot.

Yeah, it's gonna be tough. I'm entered in Singapore and, yeah, it's looking like there's a couple of cancellations on the flights. So we'll just wait and see. I have a little bit of time, so just rest and see.

But the plan is from right now I think I'll try to go to Singapore and play that, but it's hopefully, fingers crossed, we will have flights. I think I can get through Sydney and get to Singapore that way.

Q. Are you going to be practicing at the NTC over the next couple of months? Secondly, what was your observations of the breaches of protocol that Andy Murray described last weekend?

CAMERON NORRIE: Well, I've just seen that in the UK now you have to do 10 days hotel quarantine, so my plan was never to go back to the UK. I was going to play tournaments and up until Miami, up till the schedule they have.

No, I will not be going back to NTC any time soon, and I think it's going to be tough for the British guys to go home at all, because as soon as you do that, that ten days' quarantine, you're going to lose a lot of momentum and a lot of your training and physicality. So it's going to be difficult.

I didn't actually see what Andy said, but during that exhibition Battle of the Brits thing we had just before Christmas, I think they were doing a pretty good job with all the protocols, and I think everything was good in my mind, but I left straight after that, and I think the time period that he was talking about was just after that.

So I didn't see any of that or anything, so I can't comment on anything that went on over that time period.

Q. This is the fourth Grand Slam in a row we haven't got any British players through to the second week. Can you put that down to anything in particular or do you think it's just results are so difficult right now because the performances are so difficult because of the current conditions?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think there is obviously a lot of good players and we're pretty unfortunate not to have Andy and Kyle over here as well to give ourselves a chance, so the draw was pretty unfortunate this year. I played Evo the first round so that immediately took one of us out.

And, yeah, obviously the level here has been really tough, and we got some dubs guys through. Jamie is through. He's playing well. He's in the second week.

A lot of positives. Yeah, it's tough. I mean, I did everything to try to make the second week, and Rafa was too good today, so sorry I couldn't be in the second week, guys.

Q. I just wanted to ask, you mentioned your backhand hurt Rafa and he also mentioned it as a problematic shot for him, that it was very flat. Curious, it's obviously quite a unique shot, being compact and flat. How did that shot come about?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, it was just pretty natural for me, and I never really got too much coaching on it. Yeah, I tend to hit it pretty flat. I think I troubled him a lot. I think I could have used my backhand line a bit more. I was pretty successful when I did that when he was trying to cheat over and use his forehand.

But, yeah, I haven't really been coached too much on that. It's a pretty natural shot, pretty bunty kind of shot and kind of difficult. Comes pretty low through the court, as well.

So it's tricky, especially for Rafa. I think, yeah, he was aware of that, and I think he scouted me because he was already using the slice from the start. I think if he was trying to hit over it it would have been tougher, but he was pretty spot on with the tactics from the start.

Q. Dan Evans is noncommittal about the Tokyo Olympics. He doesn't fancy it. Given that you could perhaps replace Kyle Edmund as the British No. 2, perhaps moving up in the rankings this year, is that a goal, to make the Olympics, to be in Japan this summer?

CAMERON NORRIE: I mean, for me right now with everything that's going on, it's just to not look too far ahead. Who knows what's going to happen over these next couple months with everything going on. It's going to be an interesting time.

So, I mean, I haven't even, I mean, made up my mind yet or I don't even know how that even -- I'm not sure, yeah, what's gonna happen if Evo doesn't play or if I'm No. 2, or I don't know what kind of certain ranking you have to be or when the deadline is going to be. It's too tough to call, and I don't know what tournaments are going to be on.

Yeah, obviously would be great to play and I'd love to play the Olympics. It would be a phenomenal event, but who knows the circumstances and what's gonna happen or even if it's gonna go ahead. Just wait and see on that one.

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