- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Laura Robson has experienced first hand the relentless approach and competitive zeal of Cameron Norrie that has carried him to the Wimbledon semi-finals.
“I just remember a couple years ago, we were doing the off-season in Florida and we had a games morning with all the Brits involved,” said former British number one Robson.
“And there’s one game that we played where you hit a ball and everyone rotates. You’ve got to have eight people on each side and, you miss the ball, you’re out of the team.
“And at one point there were five people on one side with just Cam on his own and he just refused to miss. He ended up winning the game and just wore everyone down. And I think that’s sort of him in a nutshell, isn’t it?
“He’s someone that no one ever wants to train with. Because he just runs you. And, especially the track sessions, he just kills everyone.”
World doubles number one Joe Salisbury has spent quite a lot of time with Norrie away from the court and could not be happier for his compatriot.
“He’s a great guy,” said Salisbury. “Just the ultimate professional. Really happy that he’s done so well here. I think he deserves all the success he’s had because he works so hard and puts everything he’s got into it.
“He’s a nice guy off the court, I get on really well with him and enjoy spending time with him when we’re at tournaments. I hope he can get the job done tomorrow.”
Norrie’s low-key nature had contributed to him staying under the radar prior to this tournament despite having been the British number one since last October and breaking into the top 10 this season.
“He’s very grounded, a very normal guy,” said Salisbury. “I was in the supermarket the other day and I looked at the papers and I saw he was on the front just because he was on his bike.
“Everyone enjoyed that he was just cycling into Wimbledon, which he normally does when he’s training at the NTC, he has his backpack and bikes in there. Just how he is.”
Norrie’s commercial deals are dwarfed by the likes of Emma Raducanu – and his latest partnership with Del Monte led to plenty of mickey taking.
“We gave him a bit of stick for that,” said Salisbury. “The Cam from Del Monte, that was terrible.”
While Salisbury’s dreams of a first Wimbledon title ended in the semi-finals, Robson has been back playing on the lawns of the All England Club in the invitational doubles.
After three hip operations, Robson was forced to announce her retirement earlier this year at the age of just 28.
“It’s always tough, especially when you see how much fun people are having out on the courts this week,” said Robson.
“And all the other Brits doing well especially. But I’ve made peace with it. I’m feeling in so much pain just from a couple of hits of 45 minutes over the last couple of weeks. So, in hindsight, it definitely feels like the right decision and I’ve got to prioritise the long-term health of my body.”
Eschewing coaching – “I do not have the patience” – Robson has carved out a new career in the media, while she is also looking to move into events.
“I love it, especially doing the radio,” she said. “And hopefully I’m improving at it. I get a lot of constructive criticism from my mum. She’s sort of taken the coaching role from tennis and moved that into the media. I do my research beforehand, I make sure I’m prepared. And hopefully that comes across.”