Cameron Norrie knows he is a “long way” to achieving his goal of being world No 1, but with “some of the legends of the game starting to drop off” there will be chances to fulfill his dream.
The 27-year-old finished the year at No 14 in the ATP Rankings, but he has spoken of his desire to be No 1 one day. Earlier this year he reached a career-high of No 8 and the next step is to crack the top five.
With Roger Federer retiring this year and Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the twilight of their careers, the world No 1 ranking could become a hotly contested affair over the next few years and Norrie is confident through hard work he can be in the mix.
“I want to be world No 1, that’s a big goal for me. Obviously there’s a lot of things I need to tick off first, I have not been top five yet so it’s a goal I want to put in my mind to make sure every day I am practising towards that and trying to be the best player in the world,” he told Eurosport.
“It’s a tough goal and a long way to go. Anyone can say they want to be No 1 but the last couple of years I have had, and the level I am playing, I feel I am playing okay tennis and there’s a lot of things I can improve on and a lot of upside left in my game. I feel I can improve in all departments.
“With some of the legends of the game starting to drop off there’s a lot of chances and opportunities. I feel I am among the best players in the world and practising with them and beating them and playing tight matches with them. I am exactly where I want to be and I want to keep pushing. I am someone who is never really satisfied.”
Carlos Alcaraz finished the season as the world No 1, but Norrie beat the Spaniard as well as the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Holger Rune this year.
Norrie and Tsitsipas will be among a host of players to compete in the controversial Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia over the next few days.
The exhibition event is being used as a warm-up ahead of the 2023 season and Norrie has set his sights on improvement.
“I want to improve everything. I have a lot of things to improve on. The start of the pre-season you want to focus a lot on the physical side and spend a lot of the time in the gym and get stronger because in the year you are playing a lot of matches so it’s tough to do that gym work around matches,” he said.
“So a big focus for me here is to keep the gym up and keep the volume up of practice and play around the matches, because during the ATP season it’s such a big focus to win matches. Obviously here you want to win as well but it’s more of an exhibition format which is good fun as well. The focus is to be ready for Australia.
“I would like to tidy up my net game and come forward more, and work on the drop shots as well.”
The article Cameron Norrie feels opportunity knocks to become No 1: ‘I feel I am among the best players in the world’ appeared first on Tennis365.com.