June 3, 2021
C. NORRIE/L. Harris
4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. When you go a set down these days, do you feel very calm and confident and relaxed that you can turn things around?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think today I didn't do much wrong in the first set. He came out and he was serving well and hitting his forehand well and I wasn't finding his backhand as much.
Yeah, I went a set down and I was thinking, I haven't actually done too much wrong there, and just knuckled down and stayed very calm and ended up executing a little bit better, and he dropped his level a little bit.
I was really happy with how I handled it. And I think I could have easily got frustrated with him serving rockets and hitting the spots and playing quick points, and it was actually pretty lively out there again today. It was so humid, and it was actually a pretty physical match.
Yeah, I was happy with how I came back after the first set after not doing too much wrong.
Q. Given Richard Gasquet's record against Rafa Nadal, it's very likely you'll play Rafa again in the next round. What have you learnt from your two meetings with him this year that you didn't already know about him?
CAMERON NORRIE: I've obviously watched him a lot. I think just -- I've learned that he's actually a human being. He can miss shots. He can play short at times. But then you give him a little bit of room for him to find his forehand, he gets it going. He can be extremely dangerous. It can be absolute carnage going into the forehand there.
Played him twice in Australia and in Barcelona, so definitely know how he plays and he knows how I play.
But yeah, just going to look to bring my game and looking forward to take it to him again.
Q. Now you're in the third round and you're playing for higher stakes. Do you get anxious when you hear that a couple of doubles players have tested positive? Does everybody get worried about who they might have come into close contact with?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I did see that, but I don't actually know what -- I haven't seen them at all, which is good for me, I guess. But yeah, it's unfortunate for them, especially they've had such a good run, those boys. Yeah, I think it's just good for us to make sure to take care of what we can do. It's unfortunate that that's happened.
And yeah, I'm just happy to be feeling all good and to be out there playing.
Q. If it is Nadal, is playing him in Paris on clay the toughest task in world sport?
CAMERON NORRIE: I think so. I think if you look at the stats, his record is pretty impressive. Yeah, I think it changes nothing for me. Another great opportunity to have a crack at him.
Obviously I'm going to be the underdog going in there, so no pressure on me, go out and see if I can execute my game and frustrate him. Another wonderful experience for me playing him, again, third round of a Slam, especially where he's been very dominant.
Tough task, yes. He's playing excellent. I think he's at one of his best parts of his career, as well. He's won a lot on the clay, so he's looking dangerous.
I think it's good, though, that I did get the chance to play him in Barcelona and play him on the clay. So I know his patterns and I know what he likes to do and his tendencies on the serve and the return.
I know what I'm in for, and it's not going to be easy. So go out there, enjoy it, and take it to him. Nothing to lose.
Q. I reckon that takes you into the top 40 for the first time in the rankings. How much higher do you think you can go, and are you in the form of your life right now?
CAMERON NORRIE: That's fun, I didn't know that. So great for me to get a career high, especially with the way the rankings are.
I think with everything, with my level and the way I'm handling difficult situations, and I think I'm a lot more calm in bigger moments than I had been in the past, I think that's the biggest thing.
Yeah, I think I've been very consistent and kept the momentum with me and not really let too many little things throw me off there. I've been pretty dead set on keep improving, keep going, and keep bringing my level every day.
I don't think I'm playing like out of this world excellent. I think I'm doing a lot of fundamentals well, and I think that's paying off. But still a lot of work to do and a lot of things to improve on. Yeah, like I said earlier this week, I'm enjoying my tennis, enjoying moving on the clay, and the rallies and the challenges on the clay.
It's been a great clay season for me, but I think still a lot of work to do, and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Q. What do you feel you've done well the two times that you've played Rafa? How has your game sort of troubled him?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think the first time I played him in Australia I served very well, and I found his backhand a lot and he did use the slice a lot. It was quite smart on the hard courts there. I think when I was hitting my backhand hard cross to his backhand and pinning him in that corner and then drilling him into the forehand, I think I did that well at times.
And then on the clay in Barcelona I didn't serve as well, so that made it very tricky for me there.
I think especially with my backhand I can do a lot of damage. I'm not going to give too much away. So just focus on what I've been doing well and go and try and execute and leave it all out on the court, and I think just use my legs to my advantage. It's nice getting through straight sets the other day and in four sets pretty comfortably in the end.
I feel great physically, which is a bonus for me, and I'll back my legs against anyone, even against Rafa. But I'm going to have to execute, and it's not going to be easy. Like I said, looking forward to it. It's going to be a tough one.
Q. Your form at the Slams have been so consistent the last year or so. I'm curious what are you doing behind the scenes? Have you changed your diet, superstitions, watching a box set? Give us a little bit of insight of what you're doing that's transformed you into a better player.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, there's no secrets out there. Just keep hard work, keep training every day.
I think I've just -- like I said before, just being a little bit more calm and a little bit more experienced in the bigger situations. I think the biggest thing is I'm attacking tennis in all aspects and taking it to a different level professionally and handling everything on the court and off the court and making it very businesslike, like I'm the CEO of a company, and I'm doing things very smoothly.
I think when you're taking care of everything off the court and you just get out there and you can go play and you're not worrying about anything else. I don't think anything too much with -- I haven't changed anything drastically, I just think I'm in a good place with very organized, very professional, and executing on the match courts, and that was a big goal for me just to bring my level on to the match courts. It's been a lot of fun.
Q. We've said before that the Argentinian commentators have referred to you as Chuck Norris, the American actor, but I was thinking you're more like Matthew Vaughn traveling between different countries even at a young age, sometimes going under the radar at tournaments. I was wondering do you think you're flying above or under the radar at Roland Garros, and do you think all the international travel you've had even at a young age has been a good grounding for the challengers that you've faced on the tour?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, interesting question. I think just in general, tennis players with the travel and not being at home too often, I think a lot of us are pretty similar in terms of that aspect of not being -- like obviously well traveled. Yeah, I can't even remember what the question was. There was a lot in there. I can't remember what the question was.
Q. If it is Gasquet on Saturday, something has gone wrong, hasn't it?
CAMERON NORRIE: I'll take that every day of the week if it's Gasquet. Come on, Richard. You can do it, mate.
Q. But if it is him, if something happens tonight, that would give you an opportunity, wouldn't it, to make a run? Both of you, to be fair.
CAMERON NORRIE: I think Gasquet is playing well. I watched him in the first round. He absolutely dispatched Gaston who played well here last year, so he's playing good, and he's an absolute veteran on tour. He's so experienced and he's playing well.
But yeah, I'll take him over Rafa on the clay. Come on, Richard. You can do it.
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