November 3, 2021
C. NORRIE/R. Opelka
THE MODERATOR: Great match today. What are your thoughts on that big win against a tough opponent?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I mean, I was really happy to beat Reilly. Obviously he's difficult. There's not much rhythm. He can play very aggressive and then in the rallies he was very solid. So it was a big win for me, and especially with a lot on the line. So I was happy with how I handled myself.
But he's tricky, and I managed myself pretty well and played well and served well when I needed to.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. If you were asked this, just retalk about today's result over Opelka, and then while I've got you, if you could look ahead to the next round against Fritz.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, today was difficult. Reilly plays, obviously has a great serve. Yeah, it's tricky, but you can't really get too much rhythm in the rallies. I think actually today when I was in the rallies he did a good job of staying really solid. I actually served well at big moments to get out of trouble. He managed to break me and played a very good game.
I thought it was a solid performance. I think off the ground I could have been a little bit more aggressive and spread the court a little bit more, which I'll try to utilize that tomorrow against Fritz. I know Taylor's game very well. We played I think seven or eight times already on the tour. I'm good friends with him.
He's a tough competitor. He's one of the toughest competitors out there, and he's got a big game and I think he suits these courts very well. He's going to be tricky. He had maybe one of the biggest wins of his year today against Andrey Rublev.
It's going to be difficult, but kind of similar matchup in terms of quite a lot of short points with him serving well and hitting the spots well both. So it's going to be tricky but both of us know each other's game very well.
Q. I think you played Reilly once before in Cincinnati last summer. I don't think you broke his serve at all there. Would you see today's win as a bit of a measure of how much your game has improved in the last year, and in particular your return game?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think in that match it was tough conditions. We actually played at US Open because it was the week before US Open in 2020 so they had that there, and it was such bouncy conditions and it was on a hot day. I think we played first or second, and he was locked in and it was the first match for him back after the break, so he was fresh mentally.
I think the circumstances in this one are slightly different in terms of the court surface. We play indoors. I almost think it's easier to return his serve because it's not getting up so high, and I can just almost block it back and play the point rather than having to play everything above my head. I think that factored in a little bit.
And I think I agree with you, like you said, in terms of my returns, I'm putting a lot more returns in court, but I think I didn't return second serves as well as I could have today. I think I left a lot short, but it didn't seem to hurt me too much. He wasn't too sharp on the first ball, so I got away with a couple points here and there, which I usually wouldn't.
So it was a combination of me putting the first serve return in the court and in terms of the conditions. And at the end of the year it can be tough, and I don't think he was mentally as fresh as he would like to be this late in the year.
But it was a very good win for me, and it was the first time beating him on tour, so I was happy with the result.
Q. If you end up going to Turin as an alternate and having to be in the shadows and helping the lads train, would you mind that? Would that be disappointment if you don't make the top eight, or would you be quite satisfied if you make the alternate position in Turin?
CAMERON NORRIE: Look, I think I really want to make the top eight and be playing, competing. It will be I think difficult being there that week and be there as an alternate and be on-site. Obviously ideally it would be nice to make it, which I'm really trying for and I'm pushing for.
I'm really enjoying the fact of these last couple matches, and there's only two spots for basically the four of us, so I think it adds another element, and I really like that. But at the end of the day, I would love to play and compete in that event.
Yeah, like I said earlier, it's just even to be in the conversation even this late in the year, it's just -- I mean, it means a lot to me and shows that I have made some improvements this year in my game, so that's nice for that to show.
Yeah, I want to play and I want to keep pushing and I want to give everything I've got and try and make that event.
Q. I appreciate that you're taking one game at a time and you focus on the next game, but we cannot get away from the fact you could play Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Just wonder what sort of test you would have to bring against the world No. 1.
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, obviously play Fritz. We are very even in terms of our head-to-head, played seven or eight times. I'm going to just focus on that one first and we will have the conversation tomorrow if I'm playing Novak.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do in Paris when you are off-court, and what is your favorite dish to eat when in Paris?
CAMERON NORRIE: Favorite thing is to go to restaurants. The restaurants are unbelievable. My favorite dish is, I went to a restaurant on Saint-Germain two nights ago and had unbelievable duck. Probably a combination of those two things was excellent.
Q. Is there any comparison in conditions, slow courts and Indian Wells? Is there a comparison there?
CAMERON NORRIE: Here, slow courts, you mean?
Q. Yeah, a bit like Indian Wells.
CAMERON NORRIE: Not at all. I think the surface is quite quick. The ball kind of shoots through when you catch one flat and you hit the spot on the serve. I think the balls are quite slow though which makes it seem like it's slow conditions.
I guess the only comparison would be it stays quite low like Indian Wells did, but it's definitely ball shoots through the court, and stays quite low. But it's great, and I'm liking the conditions so far.
Q. I know you have had great success through the year so far, but how much now is a legacy of what happened in Indian Wells?
CAMERON NORRIE: What do you mean? What do you mean by that?
Q. You have had a big year, you have the confidence going, but what you're doing now since Indian Wells, how much has this legacy of Indian Wells added confidence, et cetera?
CAMERON NORRIE: Yeah, I think I was playing great at Indian Wells, and to win that title means a lot to me. I think it can be almost difficult to win a title and then to come out and play again. You have to play from zero and you have to start again. So I think it can be, on the flip side of that, it can be difficult.
I was just trying to, in Vienna especially, trying to come out with the same attitude and the same level of focus and the same level of tennis. And I did that and I came against Felix who was too good for me that day, came very close. But in the back of my mind it does give me a lot of confidence, especially in the big moments.
I feel like throughout the whole year I have been able to play on my terms and to play the bigger points a little bit more aggressive than I did last year, and I think that's the difference. I think being in those moments more and more often and playing these bigger matches has helped a lot, and especially with more on the line in terms of playing bigger tournaments and deeper in the draw. So I think all of that has definitely helped me a lot.
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