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June 5, 2021

Cameron Norrie

Paris, France

Press Conference

R. NADAL/C. Norrie

6-3, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a good fight today. What's it like to play Rafa on this surface here at this tournament that he's owned for so long? I watched you play him in Australia. How does the match differ when you're playing on that surface versus this surface? What's the experience like?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, thank you. It was extremely difficult. It was amazing how quick he was after his serve to find his forehand, especially on the clay. That was the biggest difference, and it was a bit more difficult for me to find his backhand there.

But no, it was a wonderful experience playing against him, and I thought I played great. It was just -- I don't think I took enough risk. I think in that second set, a couple of backhand lines paid off and I managed to get up a break, and then he came back. Especially when I broke he came back in the next game in a different level, in a different energy.

I thought I hit the ball well. I think in that third set I started doing a little bit more with the ball, especially on my forehand side, and managed to catch him back behind a couple times going to his forehand.

All in all, I think great experience. It was a physical match. It was not easy out there. He was serving and looking for the forehand, and I think he played very well. I think if you speak to him, I think he thought it was a very good match from his point of view, as well.

Enjoyed it. A great experience. And let's move on to the grass and get ready for some more tennis.

Q. Tell us a bit more about that period at the start of the second set where you broke him twice in a row and the crowd were really getting behind you? Was that the most thrilling period of the match for you?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I played some great tennis, returned well to get up a break, 2-Love and 3-1. Was just maybe disappointing to -- maybe I think I could have played a little bit more aggressive, especially serve and my first ball. But he returned very deep those games.

And like I said, he came with a different energy after getting broken, and he was looking for the forehand, hunting for the forehand. And yeah, I think it would have been interesting if I managed to hold there, go 3-0 and 4-1, as opposed to being back on serve and back under the pump. Yeah, it was impressive how well he returned today.

I think I served well. It was just he was getting to everything, and it was not easy.

Q. You were hustling between shots, but you were kind of hustling between points, as well. Is that just the pace you play at? Obviously you made a remark to the umpire about it, that he wasn't ready necessarily when you were ready to serve. Was that just the way that you play, or were you trying to make him play a little faster because it doesn't suit his rhythm?

CAMERON NORRIE: No, that's just the way I play. I like to play pretty quick in between points, especially on my serve. A couple times he wasn't ready. It's all within the rules and it was a reasonable amount of time that he did take, but I had to wait for him a couple times when I'm the one serving.

It is what it is. I was just playing at my normal speed, and I think he takes obviously a little bit longer, especially on his service games when he was serving.

Q. You mentioned at the beginning of the second set that was a real crucial time of the match, and then he seemed to be slowing down for you and sort of delaying you a couple of times. Do you think he was doing it deliberately at that stage? Would you have liked the umpire to step in early to say something? Do you think she was put off because he's such a big name and that she should have stepped in earlier?

CAMERON NORRIE: No, I did -- yeah, he does a good job of managing the time of when I'm serving. She did say something to him, I think it was at the start of the service game. I was having to wait until five, six or seven seconds left for him to -- when I was the one serving when the rule is that you have to play to the service speed.

I don't think he was doing anything on purpose or anything. There was none of that. I just think that's the way he is with the routines, and he has to get ready like that.

I think the ref did a good job controlling it, but it's just the way I play with the serve, I'm one bounce and I go. He was not ready a couple times, so I guess I have to wait for him, and I had to wait for -- play a little bit to his speed when I was serving.

I think it was all within the rules and completely reasonable, and the umpire did get in there and say something about it. But it didn't put me off or there was no -- I was completely fine with the situation.

Q. You've had such a great clay court season. What's the main thing you'll take from this period of this season going on to the grass?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, thank you. I've just really enjoyed the time on the clay. I'm moving well. I'm physically in great shape. I think my forehand improved a lot on the clay, and a lot of matches I was dictating with the forehand and was able to be pinning guys in the backhand side and then using my backhand pretty effectively.

All in all, I competed well and was happy with my attitude. It was maybe just the one match in the whole clay season where I was not -- didn't compete as well as I would have liked.

But if you look at the guys that I lost to on the clay, it was all pretty high-level matches and good names. Was it three Spaniards? Rafa twice and Albert Ramos and Fokina who's doing well, and then Tsitsipas. So there was not real bad losses on the clay, and I got a lot of wins and a lot of momentum.

Just want to take that into the grass, and I always play, after playing with Rafa and playing at that level, I always play at a different level and seem to almost improve and to keep that.

It's going to be tricky going from the clay to the grass, so get back to London tomorrow and prepare as much as I can. I pulled out of Stuttgart earlier last week and take next week to really get some movements done on the grass and hit the ground running in Queen's. I can't wait for being back there and playing in front of some home crowd and getting some support.

Q. I just wondered in terms of the grass, is there anything in your game that works well on the surface that maybe doesn't work so well? I think your best result at Wimbledon has been second round up until now. I presume you think you can do much better than that.

CAMERON NORRIE: I think I'm serving a lot better this year and hitting my backhand just as well as I had been. So I think my serve and my backhand are my two biggest weapons on the grass. I think I just need to be comfortable coming forward and just taking it to guys and being aggressive and taking the time to get the movement right and just to be aggressive and just manage on the returns.

I think in the past when I'm chipping, chipping the forehand return, I think I need to work on that a little bit next week and keeping the ball low and using the slice a little bit and playing a bit smarter.

But the biggest thing on the grass for me is my serve and my backhand. If I'm doing that, with finding good rhythm on the serve and in the backhand flat as a pancake, I think it can work well.

Q. What you said about Rafa hunting for his forehand, did it surprise you he's so aggressive on a surface where he could easily just defend so well?

CAMERON NORRIE: It didn't really surprise me too much. In Barcelona he was doing the same, but I think he's a bit more comfortable in these conditions. Obviously he's had so much success at Barcelona, too. But I think he played a little bit better today than he did in Barcelona.

No, the guy is relentless with the forehand and tough to rush him there. No surprises he hit the forehand well from the get-go.

Q. Just wanted to ask you, why does your doubles partner Jonny O'Mara call you the electrician? With where you are at this stage in your career, how important is it for you to be switched on in time for Wimbledon?

CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, Jonny -- I think I said it completely honest, that I was pretty electric with the feet, and he took that and he said, Oh, then electrician, and he started -- he made a couple of photos of me being the electrician. I don't think I was electric enough in the doubles with him, but Jonny is pretty sharp with that kind of stuff. It was a good one from him.

Q. Are you going to miss the clay a bit because you've been so successful on the surface? Do you have any plans to play on clay later on in the year?

CAMERON NORRIE: No, I think I'm looking forward to at least going to practice and there's not clay all over my bag and there's clay everywhere. I'll be looking forward to getting on the grass and being in the whites and being clean.

No, it's been a great clay season and really enjoyed it, but ready for the grass. Obviously with the week being pushed back, it was an extra week on the clay.

I'm not really too sure with schedule, but yeah, not too sure about what I'll do with those weeks. We'll see.

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