October 13, 2021
C. NORRIE/T. Paul
6-4, 4-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Just a summary on your thoughts on your performance today and the match overall, please.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think it was obviously a tricky match going in, big match for both of us. I started well, started very solid and was serving great. I think I had very few unforced errors.
I think I played one loose game at 5-1, and I think I lost a little bit of confidence on my serve and then ended up, didn't serve as well for the next hour or so. Managed to stay tough throughout.
Tommy came out strong in the start of the second set and was up 3-Love. I think had a couple chances, I think I had Love-40 and at 2-Love, a couple chances there but I managed to scrape it back to 3-All.
But, yeah, I think the biggest thing today was I was pretty level-headed and fought as hard as I could every point, and there was no easy way to win. I mean, just had to play long points and to keep doing what I was doing well and hitting a lot of forehand angles and getting a lot to his backhand and pulling him off the court.
I think I took the lead slightly there, but all credit to Tommy, he played a great match and it was a battle out there.
Q. You said in the court that you're handling these tricky moments in the match now much better than you did four years ago. Can you describe when you were in these moments before, was it nerves, poor decision-making? What was it?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, honestly I think now I'm just not really thinking too much. I'm going and just playing, and I think a big part of that is on my serve. I'm hitting the spot better in the bigger moments and being able to play on my terms in the bigger moments.
I think in the past, maybe lack of execution or wrong decision-making at some point, had a tendency to be too passive. Kind of coming from college, I was able to get away with it just by putting balls in the court in the big moments. I think now I have learned you have to go out and you have to take it and play the point you want to play.
But now I'm not thinking too much. Just going out and playing and just trying to use my advantage. All the way through this year I have been playing great in big moments, and I have come good a lot of the time. I know I've got that in the bank, and there is a good chance throughout the year I have been doing it, so I have the confidence to do it again.
Yeah, it's been a lot of fun to do that this year.
Q. Do you like the conditions here? Do you think that with the pace of the courts, you and Diego might set a new record for number of long rallies?
CAMERON NORRIE: The conditions are tricky. I mean, especially against Roberto the other night. I mean, it was freezing, and the balls, we played long games, especially the start of the second set, and they got huge and there is no easy way to play other than to hit the ball in the court and run. I mean, it's so tough to finish points.
I think it helps a little bit that the sort of the hotter like today, the ball was flying a little bit with the newer balls, but I think I'm doing a good job with my legs and getting to a lot of balls and putting the ball in awkward situations, and I think my backhand is quite effective on these courts, stays very low, especially when I'm hitting through it.
I don't know if I like the conditions, but yeah, you're right, going to be long rallies tomorrow and could be a couple of records in there, maybe breakpoints again or length of rallies or something. But it's going to be brutal for both.
Q. It's been a big year for you, and now your first Masters 1000 quarterfinal. Comments on that? Also what your thoughts are going into a match against Diego Schwartzman who is tenacious and quick.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, obviously I'm very happy to show my level at this event and to be through to the quarterfinals is my first one, like you said, so I'm extremely happy. It was a great win for me today, especially to come through Tommy, who is not easy and who beat Andrey a couple days ago.
I mean, massive for me. I couldn't be any happier, but there is no time to really enjoy it too much. I've got a big task at hand tomorrow against Diego. He's been one of the most solid players on tour for the last couple years, and he's there every week. It's not going to be easy.
He's playing well, as well. He beat Casper, one of the most in-form players this year, and he couldn't be any more confident, Casper, and to beat him so comfortably, he must be playing great.
I know I'm in for a wall with Diego and looking forward to going out there and competing with him and just let's see who can fight harder and run longer. I think it's going to be a long match.
Q. You have obviously won a tournament this year, but like with the prestigious nature of this event, do you think it could be your best week or ten days, whatever it is, of the year, even of your career maybe?
CAMERON NORRIE: I think, yeah, it's great and I'm happy to be through. I think Cabo was my biggest -- it was huge for me to get that first title obviously. I had a couple looks and a couple of chances earlier in the year and didn't get it. So that was huge for me.
Who knows. Could turn into a massive week, another massive week, and I'm going to keep fighting and keep doing everything I can to make sure that I can give myself the best chance.
Q. Playing Diego tomorrow, you know it's going to be a very physical matchup and this court is sort of playing into his game a little bit. Are you considering perhaps a bigger serving strategy or anything like that just to kind of maybe get some more free points?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, it's going to be difficult playing Diego. His returning stats are excellent. It's going to be tricky, because I'm going to have a lot of looks on his serve, and he's going to have a lot of looks on my serve.
But I'm going to go out and do what I do best and just try to compete as hard as I can. I'm not going to change anything. Yeah, it's going to be tough, but I'm not changing anything. For sure, I'm going to go out and try and hit my spots on the serve and try to take it to him on his serve.
Yeah, it's just going to be a battle out there and get my running shoes on to play long points (smiling).
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