February 12, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
C. NORRIE/R. Safiullin
3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. A tricky match. Lost the first set and had to change courts. Talk us through your thoughts on the match.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think it was tough to start with. It was pretty lively out there. And, yeah, it was tough to return his serve. Honestly, I started worse level and with some awful stuff.
Basically donated him two breaks. Then I was a set down and didn't do much right in the second set, either. Yeah, wasn't easy, but then I managed to play some decent tennis at the end of the second set.
Yeah, going indoors was great for both of us, and it was a completely different match after we went indoors and actually found some great level. Really enjoyed the match after that. It was great stuff.
Q. You hadn't made a round of 32 at a Grand Slam until last year's US Open. You've done it again now. I imagine these are the moments that get you through, driving you through those tougher times when wins are harder to come by.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I guess so, but I was more so happy just to finish strong and play some of my best tennis at the Grand Slams. I mean, I know some of the other, couple years back I've not really played my best and I think I've let the moment get to me a little bit too much rather than just playing another match.
So, yeah, it's nice to get through. But I was just really happy with my level in the fourth set there going indoors and being back in a crowd and some great atmosphere. That was really exciting. I really enjoyed that. I was really happy with that.
Yeah, I've just got a lot of stuff to be working on and a lot of improvements need to be made.
Q. What are your thoughts on Rafa now?
CAMERON NORRIE: Ah, it's going to be an unbelievable experience. I think I just have to go after it and, yeah, enjoy every minute against him. He's such a legend of the game, but on Saturday night, just another player. He's a human being. Just go out there and give it to him and see what happens.
Yeah, try to enjoy it as much as I can and show him what I got.
Q. I remember a couple years ago you played Fucsovics at Monte-Carlo and I was saying you kind of did a bit of a "Rafa" on him because you beat up his backhand and you were, like, I'll take that. Have you watched him ever as someone to learn from in that kind of tactical way?
CAMERON NORRIE: What was the question? Learned from...
Q. Learned from Rafa. I was thinking of the match when, I remember you were using a kind of high forehand attack on the backhand, which was a bit Rafaesque, and we talked about that afterwards.
CAMERON NORRIE: I think any lefty in general uses that forehand a lot, and with the slider wide especially, as well.
I mean, I haven't -- I think my game is very different to his, but, yeah, definitely some same elements, both being lefty. Both hit the forehand cross pretty well.
Q. I have seen your coach with you here. Is that the only person with you or do you have anyone else? I was wondering kind of when you had arrived into Melbourne. Did you look a bit enviously at players who were up in Adelaide for that period?
CAMERON NORRIE: No, yeah, just with Facu here. I was thinking about bringing my physio, and I didn't want to have him in the hold for two weeks and it would have been tough for him. No, I kept it simple and just brought Facu.
And, yeah, what happened in Adelaide, I mean, it's always the same stuff with always the top guys getting the better courts and the better privileges. But, I mean, they bring the money to the sport, so it is what it is. Yeah.
Q. Given you haven't played Rafa before, would you look to consult with Andy Murray perhaps on text message for some advice or tips? He's obviously played him many times over the years.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I mean, that would definitely be a good thing to do. I have watched Rafa so much over the years. So, yeah, I'm gonna leave that up to my coach and just he'll get a good plan together. Yeah, maybe message Andy and see what his thoughts are. We play obviously pretty different, me being lefty, but, yeah, he's definitely got some good tips in there.
And I think he's obviously not really got many weaknesses, so I'm just gonna have to do what I do as well as I can and implement my game and try to play the points on my terms. Otherwise if he's the one dictating, it's gonna be tough and I'm gonna be running around a lot.
Yeah, it's not gonna be easy.
Q. Not only is this the first time you have played Rafa but first time you have played a member of the big three. Obviously these guys have been around for years, probably since you were about ten. Is this a sort of bucket list item for you growing up, get the chance to test yourself against one of them?
CAMERON NORRIE: I think, yeah, it's unbelievable. I never thought I would play against them. I was kind of watching them when I was young and thinking it would be cool to play against one of them. But I thought it was never gonna happen. So it's gonna be unbelievable and really looking forward to it and, yeah, it's gonna be amazing.
At the end of the day it's just another tennis match and gonna enjoy it afterwards, and then go out there and do what I can and see what he's got.
Q. You mentioned just now that there have been times in the past when you suffered nerves a bit at other Grand Slams. I wonder, what do you do now to try and avoid that happening?
CAMERON NORRIE: I think every tennis player gets nervous. Just I think it's the way they manage it.
Yeah, I think in the past I think I let the occasion get the better of me, but I think today was a prime example. I mean, I started the first two sets I was playing absolutely awful level and couldn't do much right. I was not really approaching well and missing some easy volleys and not really going after my serve.
So I think for me to turn it around and play that level like I did in the fourth set and kind of reset and do that was big for me and on a day when I wasn't feeling as comfortable as I would like to be.
Yeah, I think it's just how I managed it and, yeah, I think I'm just trying to build on my experiences. I have only been on the tour three or four years now, so it's all pretty new to me still. Just trying to build from there.
I think today was a good example of that, and I used my experience more than Roman has, it's one of his first Grand Slams. Obviously, he's a great player, and he's gonna have a good career. But, yeah, I think that was a big factor today.
Q. What is it that you admire most about Rafa?
CAMERON NORRIE: I think just his attitude in general. Regardless of the match or regardless of the situation, he's gonna, I don't know, even if he's a huge favorite he's always going to make sure and take care of his opponents.
I think he's just an unbelievable competitor. I think he'll be successful in anything he does. Obviously very talented tennis player, too. But, yeah, I think his general mindset and his competitiveness is, I mean, probably the best in the world.
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