Cameron Norrie turned pro four years ago but can be hailed as Britain’s top number one, top 16 in the world, and Masters League winner.
With three direct wins over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, Norrie became the first British champion at Indian Wells.
The 26-year-old made 74 appearances at the start of the year with 47 wins, two titles, and four other competitions.
With a strong show in Paris next month and a final Masters’ program in 2021, Norrie could still qualify for the ATP Finals, including eight athletes of the year this year.
His career began in Johannesburg, and then to London via Auckland and Texas Christian University – where he set the stage for a rapid rise in the rankings.
Bacteriologists David and Helen Norrie were born to Cameron’s parents in Johannesburg 26 years ago. The security situation in South Africa prompted them to move to Auckland, from where Norrie represented New Zealand with a successful small business.
But with a Welsh mother and Scottish father, she was destined to represent Britain despite heavy pressure from the New Zealand vote. She emigrated at the age of 18 when she returned to England, and she made the inspiring decision to pursue a tennis degree from Texas Christian University.
This is where I can work hard, she told herself when she arrived.
“The weather will be fine. I have a good feeling about the place. I have a great team there.
“I thought college tennis was a good decision, especially coming from where I was – ten young principals – it gave me more time to mature and stay faithful and enjoy my time. So, get an education.
“Everything is ready for you. Your friends are there. You will be with them over the weekend. I can’t imagine the journey and pain of losing so many games at the Futures event. I think it was an important decision for me.”
Norrie promoted NCAA Individual Assessments – the tennis standard for North American students – during her time at Fort Worth. He continued as a professional after completing a year of sociology undergraduate degree, but he continued his studies online.
Facu teachers meeting
Perhaps the most important friend Norrie killed in Texas was her teacher Facundo Lugones.
They were members of the Horned Frogs, a college tennis team, in Argentina’s senior year. She became a volunteer teacher after graduation and when Norrie decided to go professional, Lugones was asked to take her on a trip.
“I think it’s great to have someone I know in college, whom I know in court and someone I respect as one of my teammates,” Norrie said.
“We never get sick from other diseases, so it’s money. He loves tennis. He gives it 120% every day.
“He’s always ready to learn and listen to others. That’s fine because he does it every time I do something for the first time.”
“We are very close, we interact very well,” she said of the new English number, which she calls “el chico”, which means “little boy” in Spanish.
“We also give ourselves a chance and two years ago he was traveling with his girlfriend, so he spent a lot of time with my childhood.
“If there are a few days when he doesn’t want me to have dinner with him, that’s fine, and that’s the same for me.”
What caused the sudden update?
Courage, experience, great health, better service, and weight all contributed to Norrie being a top 20 player.
He thinks he did too much during his career: the legacy of the college circuit, where he was good at winning just by keeping the ball on the field.
Lugones said, “It’s great to learn.
“I have to say that in the last 18 months he has stayed at his job. He has started to be a good professional in every way and playing tennis is the only thing. I think he was one of those people. Will look back. And no regrets for not doing the right thing.”
Norrie works hard for her beauty, but it’s no doubt thanks to the genes of her mother Helen, who ran the marathon in just three hours.
Lugones said, “For durability and long hours I think it’s the best.”
“He has it: from a young age, he ran fast. He always enjoyed long-distance running – sometimes, on his days off, he ran 10km because he had nothing to do.
“We have worked hard for his death, but mainly because of his strength and mobility on the pitch, more so than his endurance. Of course, he has it.”
What do you hope for in the future?
Players in the world top 16 will not face such a tall opponent until at least the fourth round of a Grand Slam. When Norrie reached the third round of this year’s top three Grand Slams, she was fortunate enough to meet Rafael Nadal in Melbourne in Paris and Roger Federer at Wimbledon Court Center.
Norrie is now a contender to enter the eight-man field for the season-ending ATP tournament in Turin next month and joins ongoing competitions in Vienna, Paris, and Stockholm in a bid to qualify.
He vowed to represent Great Britain at the Davis Cup Finish in late November.
These are times when no one wants to stop, but a new time is coming.
It’s often harder than finding time to rest, reset and do it again. But facing it is a big challenge.