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February 9, 2021

Cameron Norrie

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

C. NORRIE/D. Evans

6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just talk us through the match and obviously the difficulty of having to play Dan in the first round.

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, well, it's never easy having to play the only other Brit in the draw. And I'm good friends with Dan. I have obviously played him a bunch in a couple of the Battle of the Brits over in London.

We have played each other a lot. We both know each other's games well. It was not easy. I was very nervous before the match. And obviously he had done well last week and got the title, so I knew he was going to be playing well. I was ready for that.

Yeah, it's not easy but managed to sneak over the line, so I was pretty happy with it.

Q. You have had a couple of wins against Dan though hadn't you? That must have given you a sense maybe you could replicate that kind of approach?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, for sure. I practiced with him a lot, played four or five times in those Battle of the Brits tournaments, and, yeah, we both know each other's games very well.

But I think it was a little bit different kind of leading into this one, first round of a Grand Slam, and especially in Australia he plays very well. He was coming off a good week, so, yeah, I was very nervous.

Managed to serve well and take it to him. I think he was a little bit fatigued from coming off from last week, which was unfortunate. I was ready for a five-set battle, and I thought it was going to be, from both of us I thought the level was going to be better.

But it wasn't easy with the shadow coming across the court and was pretty lively out there and was one of the hotter days we have had over here in Melbourne, so I think we both struggled a little bit on the returns. Yeah, I managed to serve good and kind of was pretty proactive in the rallies.

Q. You mentioned your serve. What else pleased you about your game today?

CAMERON NORRIE: I think I was just very on it during the points when they started, and I was pinning them to his backhand predominantly and used my forehand well when I needed to.

Then actually in the fourth set I managed to find my forehand return and return great when the sun went down and became a little bit easier. But I managed to let go a little bit and play free and played my best tennis. And in the fourth I think the tennis in general the level was highest in the fourth. Yeah, it was a tough match.

Q. When Dan is talking to himself, comparing himself to Gavin McCann, what do you think of the other side of the net? Do you think I've got him? Do you think I've just got to stay focused?

CAMERON NORRIE: Not really. I know Evo is always there, always going to be competing for every point, so I didn't even hear him do that. I will say that.

It's never easy. And I know that he's always going to be there in the next point and next point. Regardless of what he says, he's always going to be competing very, very well. He's such a talented guy, so he was probably making some good comments, I guess.

Q. How important was it for you to kind of avoid that fifth set today just for keeping fresh for the tournament? Generally, how important is it now for you to start following these matches up? On paper looks like quite a winnable second round, maybe even Rafa not that fresh in the third. Don't want to look too far ahead, but is it important for you to start going deep and take your chances when the draw can open up like this?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think for sure. When I was 5-3 down in the fourth there today I managed to play my best tennis and was being the one being aggressive and doing that. Yeah, I was just happy with the way I handled myself.

The guy I play next is going to be a tough match, and he's playing well. I want some good level out there, and just keep pushing for more. I'm not even sure who I play next, but it's going to be a tough one. But I'm feeling great and confident, and especially coming through a tricky match, playing the only other Brit in the draw. I think I can relieve the nerves a little bit after that.

But it's not going to be easy, but I want to battle with the next opponent and I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to it and I'm fresh.

Q. I think it's Safiullin, a Russian you play next. Do you know anything about him? Would you have had someone watching his match today?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, no, he's a couple years younger than me. He was always a very good junior and he's a real talented guy, but I'm going to take it to him. And, yeah, my coach actually went after my match and went and watched that match, so he was scouting a little bit.

But I have seen him. He was in St. Petersburg in the last year, and he's got a big game and hits the ball huge. I'll be ready for that. Yeah, just looking forward to that one. Going to enjoy the win tonight and then get ready for that one on Wednesday I think I play, and then Jamie in the dubs tomorrow. Looking forward to that one, as well.

Q. Is your family over from New Zealand? Have they come to Melbourne and do you have plans to see them after the Aussie Open?

CAMERON NORRIE: No, I'd love for them to be here, but unfortunately to go back to New Zealand, you have to do two weeks, so they are not, and I will not be seeing them, no.

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