Cam Norrie, a British tennis prodigy, embodies resilience and dedication in the sport. Born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand before making his mark in British tennis, Norrie’s journey is as diverse as his playing style. His meticulous baseline game is marked by relentless consistency and strategic shot-making, often outmaneuvering opponents with his intelligent play. Norrie’s rise through the ranks showcases not only his talent but also his unwavering determination to compete at the highest level. His steady demeanor on the court belies a fierce competitiveness, making him a formidable opponent for any challenger. With each match, Norrie continues to carve his place among the tennis elite, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Ape to Gentleman sat down with Norrie to learn more about tennis’s rising star.
Can you tell us about your journey into professional tennis? What inspired you to pursue this career?
It’s been a long journey with a lot of travel to say the least. I started playing at a very young age, and the competition that tennis brings out is something that really made me gravitate towards the sport.
What’s a typical day like for you when you’re preparing for a tournament or match?
Wake up, have breakfast and a coffee, head to the site for a stretch in the gym and then warmup on court. Follow that up with a pre match meal and another warm up before heading out on court.
How do you balance physical and mental preparation for a match? Can you share any specific routines or rituals you follow?
For me, having that balance between physical and mental preparation is pretty important. Obviously making sure your body is prepared before a match is integral, but also making sure I am mentally in the right headspace is equally important. I will look to go to a quiet place and try and take a moment to read and collect myself before heading out on court
What’s the most memorable moment in your tennis career so far? Can you describe the emotions and thoughts you had during that moment?
Hard to say since there have been a couple good ones. Winning my first title in Los Cabos was pretty special and following that up with winning Indian Wells was awesome. Equally good was my epic quarterfinal match at Wimbledon in front of the Royals was awesome to say the least. I think I blacked out in the moment, but the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and happiness is something that stuck out to me.
Tennis is an individual sport, but you often work closely with coaches and support staff. How important is your team in your success, and how do they contribute to your development as a player?
My team is truly an integral part of my success, both on and off the court. They are with me almost 24/7 throughout my journey on tour, so my success is also their success.
What advice would you give to young and aspiring tennis players looking to make it to the professional level?
Work hard, listen to your coaches, understand that development takes time and if you want to be a professional athlete, you need to work at it day in and day out.
How do you adapt your game when facing opponents with different playing styles? Can you share some strategies you use to gain an advantage?
I don’t want to reveal too many of my strategies, but I try to play my game every match and then make adjustments depending on how the match goes.
Injuries are a part of an athlete’s life. Can you talk about how you’ve dealt with injuries and setbacks and how they’ve influenced your career?
Luckily I have been able to avoid any serious injuries during the course of my career. The biggest thing is being able to listen to my body and make sure that I am preparing in the best way possible to be healthy.
Tennis players often travel extensively for tournaments. What are some of your favourite destinations or experiences from your travels?
My favourite destinations are currently Mexico and China. When I travel I like to enjoy the food, culture and the people so I would definitely say those two at the moment but it does changes.
Can you describe your training regimen and the specific skills and aspects of your game that you work on to improve?
It really depends on whether I’m at a tournament or not but when I’m at home it is usually more intense. My day usually consists of going to the gym in the morning followed by a 2 hour training session. After lunch I’ll do some cardio before finishing off the day with a final tennis practice on the courts. In terms of the specifics I work on, that also depends on what tournaments are approaching. I’ll train slightly differently for Wimbledon than I would Roland Garros for example.
How do you stay motivated and continue to set new goals as a professional tennis player? We are assuming world number 8 wasn’t enough!
Haha absolutely not! I like to set myself goals at the start of each year which I look to week in week out. I’ve always been someone with high expectations for myself so joining that with the love for the sport, I don’t have much difficulty staying motivated.
Off the court, do you have any hobbies or interests that help you relax and unwind from the demands of professional tennis?
I have a few to be honest, I currently live with my girlfriend and we enjoy exploring and trying out new restaurants and locations. When I’m in London, I enjoy spending time with my family and dogs. Aside from that it’s always quite relaxed, watching Newcastle United is always one of my go to’s, although it’s not always relaxing.
Are there any tennis legends or players you look up to and draw inspiration from?
It’s a common answer but I grew up watching Roger. He was someone I always looked up to and enjoyed watching from a tennis perspective. The same goes for Andy Murray, he was someone I always supported and followed. Playing against and alongside him today is truly special.
Being (Ape to) Gentleman, can you share your thoughts on the importance of sportsmanship and fair play in tennis?
I believe it’s fundamental. Tennis has always been a good sport for that. From a young age, my parents and the people around me always instilled positive attributes with regards to sportsmanship.
What are your goals and aspirations for your tennis career in the future?
It has been and always will be to reach World No.1. I know the challenges I face to get there but I would be selling myself short if I didn’t say that. I’d also have to put Wimbledon in there as well. Both of these are ambitious I know but goals I back myself to reach one day. Until then I’ll keep pushing and working towards them.
Do you have any go to style brands for off-court wear?
Being around tennis for the majority of the year, I find myself wearing a lot of K-Swiss, I like their clothes. There are some other brands as well I enjoy. It’s usually the baggy/oversized look for me, I’m a big fan.
Do you have a grooming and skincare regimen? If so, what is it? We are assuming sun-care is a key element.
Haha yeah, sun cream is a must to be honest. A brand I’ve been using quite a lot recently is La Roche Posay.
Follow Norrie on Instagram for more of an insight into his life, and his future.