Cameron Norrie excited to start grass-court campaign at home tournament

British number one Cameron Norrie is feeling refreshed after his exploits on clay as he begins his grass-court campaign at Queen’s Club.

Last year’s runner-up is back at the cinch Championships to start his preparations for Wimbledon, where he will try to make the second week of a major for the first time having been knocked out of the French Open in the third round in May.

Norrie’s Roland Garros exit concluded an encouraging season on clay where he won in Lyon but his efforts took their toll and the 26-year-old needed some down time before he switched his attention to grass.

While Andy Murray and Dan Evans have benefited from beginning their grass-court campaigns early, reaching the finals in Stuttgart and Birmingham respectively, the world No 11 is happy to start his SW19 preparations at Queen’s.

“I played so much on the clay and every week I went tournament to tournament, so I definitely needed a break,” Norrie said ahead of facing Grigor Dimitrov on Monday.

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“After the French Open I took a couple of days and then wanted to prepare well on the grass before this one so came home and have been training since at the National Tennis Centre, then coming here.

“I needed that little block to get that physicality back in the gym, working hard, but it is difficult when you are going from tournament to tournament to keep the gym work up.

“I mean it is great because I was winning a lot of matches at the end so couldn’t do anything in the gym so that is exactly what I wanted and it was great to peak towards the end of the clay-court season.

“It was unfortunate I ran into Karen (Khachanov), who was playing well, but I needed the break after.”

Last summer proved to be a breakthrough season on grass for Norrie after he followed up his final appearance at Queen’s by reaching the third round at Wimbledon.

He has watched back videos of his fine run in West Kensington but knows it will be a different experience on this occasion due to coronavirus-related restrictions being lifted.

Norrie added: “It was a good run but it was a strange one. We were still in the bubble and it wasn’t the biggest of crowds that year so it was a little bit different still than usual capacity and atmosphere.

“For me it was still unbelievable and I had a solid season but here was when I made my big jump points-wise and after this I was seeded at Wimbledon.

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“It ticked a lot of boxes and I was really close to taking Matteo (Berrettini) out in the final. I have been watching a couple of my matches from last year just knowing I can play well on this surface.

“I was enjoying it and loving it so I am looking forward to playing again in my home tournament. I live very close so it is nice to be able to sleep in my own bed for this one.”

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