Growing up in Auckland, Cameron Norrie had the opportunity to watch some of the best players in the world fighting for the title at the ASB Classic. Norrie was a promising junior who fought under the New Zealand flag until he turned 16, opting to become the British and improve chances for a notable tennis career.
After a brilliant run at TCU that made him the top-ranked college player in the States, Cameron needed only two years to move from outside the top-650 into the top-100 in May 2018, establishing himself there and finishing the current season just outside the top-50.
Norrie had the career-best moment back in January when he advanced into the final of the ASB Classic in front of his family and friends, losing the title match to Tennys Sandgren but gathering confidence that carried him through the rest of the year.
Cameron will be in the ASB Classic draw in a month again, hoping for another strong result and also to bring Andy Murray with him, as he would love to see the fellow Briton in Auckland. Andy and Cameron will play for Great Britain and the ATP Cup and Norrie will try to convince Andy to ask for a wild card in Auckland and play there for the first time since 2006.
"I'll let Karl Budge know that I will try to bring Andy Murray with me to Auckland, it would be nice," Norrie said. "It's always nice spending time with Andy who has got excellent experience to share.
I think we will have a good team at the ATP Cup and the goal for us is to get ready for the Australian Open, with a bonus if we manage to peak and play well. It's pretty incredible what Murray has done to try to come back, especially with all the setbacks he had.
I practiced with him a lot during the Asian swing and played him in Beijing, losing that one after two tight sets. I think we play quite similar and both defend well. After that nasty hip injury and two surgeries, Murray is finally injury-free, winning the title in Antwerp and hoping for more of the same in 2020.
For sure, the ASB Classic is a huge tournament for me, I grew up in New Zealand and went to the tournament as a kid: it was sick playing there and doing so well and having the crowd behind me. I'm excited to be out on the court in Auckland again and play in front of my parents and sister and some of the fans who grew up watching me.
Auckland is always tough to play a week before the Slam, as everyone wants to get some matches and confidence to start the year and head into the Australian Open; I'm happy to be in the main draw. It was a solid year for me, I started well in Auckland and made the Acapulco semis in February as well.
There were some ups and downs during the season but after just two years on tour, I will finish just outside the top-50, which is more than fine; I know I'm getting stronger all the time."