Cam Norrie hits the biggest payday of £246,000 and the UK’s No. 1 spot after flying past world No. 15 Diego Schwartzmann in 73 minutes to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final
- Cam Norrie replaces Dan Evans as UK No. 1 after his California win
- He reached his first semifinal at Masters level through Diego Schwartzmann. defeat
- The 26-year-old was ‘shocked’ by his uncomplicated win over world No. 15
In one fell swoop, Cam Norrie reached his first Masters level semi-final, earning his biggest salary and taking the UK’s number 1 spot for the first time.
The 26-year-old southpaw expressed himself “shocked” at how easy it had been to beat World No. 15 Diego Schwartzmann 6-0, 6-2, taking just 73 minutes on Thursday night.
He is in the last four of the BNP Paribas Open, a progression that will be worth at least £246,000, and will now overtake Dan Evans as the highest-ranked player in the country.
Cam Norrie replaces Dan Evans as UK No. 1 after his California win on Thursday night
He then meets the winner of the match between Grigor Dimitrov and this summer’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
Norrie couldn’t believe how easy it had been when he took his 45th main draw win of the season: ‘I was ready for an absolute battle today, the last times we played it was always a marathon, I was prepared for a war ,’ he said.
“It was probably my biggest game and the biggest win considering all the conditions and the pressure.
‘I hit a lot of lines and it’s nice to have had a little less stressful today, all my other matches were three sets.
“This year has been great for me so far, playing my best tennis. I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun on the tour with my team.”
The 26-year-old reached his first Masters level semifinal through Diego Schwartzmann. defeat
While he has underestimated the importance of leading the British men’s rankings, it will be a bonus that he has now brought to an end what was exactly a two-year reign for Evans.
Norrie has developed a familiar method, which is especially useful on these ultra-slow hard courts. He combines a loopy forehand with an extremely flat backhand, supported by a vastly improved serve and his all-round athleticism and durability.
It will probably propel him into the top twenty next week and purely based on this year’s results he is the twelfth best player in the world.
Schwartzmann already had fond memories of Norrie. His entire rise can be traced back to when they met in the first round of last year’s US Open and the British southpaw caused what was considered a significant disruption by winning 7-5 in a deciding set.
The two players were on the early shift at 11 a.m. in front of a fairly sparse crowd in the main stadium. This year’s event has a one-time date change from its usual March closing and that, coupled with broader Covid factors, has hit the number of attendees.
Norrie was ‘shocked’ at how easy it had been to win world No. 15 Schwartzmann. defeat
Norrie’s sky-high level of confidence was evident from the start against a player who has had a mixed season by his recent high standards.
Embracing the baseline tightly, he quickly fired off winners, while Schwartzmann sprayed errors galore. Fifteen of the first 17 points were won as he raced quickly to a 4-0 lead without encountering much resistance.
The Argentinian began to look more himself, but could not avoid being delivered an ignominious bagel. With a bright sun making the serve difficult on one side, Schwartzmann sent down a couple of double faults and only came to 11 runs in total during the opener.
He finally made it to the scoreboard with over half an hour of play, to loud cheers that echoed through the huge 16,000-seat arena.
This was the only competitive phase of the match as breaks were exchanged before Norrie took the lead for 4-2. For all his emerging qualities, it was a sadly poor performance from Schwartzmann, but this year everything is falling into place for the GB lefthander who grew up largely in New Zealand.