Wimbledon semi-finalist Cameron Norrie returns home to Auckland to play in ASB Classic
Wimbledon semi-finalist Cameron Norrie, who was brought up in Auckland, is fittingly the first marque signing for the 2023 ASB Classic.
The ASB Classic will make a return to Auckland from 2 to 14 January 2023, after a two-year Covid-enforced hiatus.
Norrie, who rose into the world’s top-10 this year, was beaten by World No 3 Novak Djokovic in the semi-final at Wimbledon in his first Grand Slam semi-final.
The 26-year-old was born in South Africa before his Scottish father and Welsh mother moved to New Zealand when he was three. Norrie was introduced to the game from an early age at the Bucklands Beach Tennis Club before he switched allegiances to Great Britain as a teenager, and then became the No 1 ranked collegiate player in USA.
Norrie, who has enjoyed four ATP victories, was runner-up at the ASB Classic as a wildcard in 2019 and moved back to New Zealand during the 2020 lockdown. His tennis stocks have improved over the last two years, gaining his best title thus far with victory at the ATP Masters 1000 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last year.
He is thrilled to return to the ASB Classic, which is a tournament that is close to his heart.
“For me to get back to Auckland where I grew up to play is great. As a kid, I would go to the ASB Classic and watch and get photos with all the players. That is where tennis all started for me and where I got inspired to want to play ATP events like the one in Auckland,” said Norrie following his Wimbledon campaign.
“The ASB Classic is such a great tournament, especially to start the year. Hopefully, the crowds can get behind me there. It’s a great venue and the perfect way to start the year.”
Norrie said it was surreal to now play against some of his idols that he watched play at Stanley St.
“Seeing those players, I watched when I was younger like John Isner – I have a good photo with him when I was young – Fabio Fognini and Carreno Busta and now playing with them on the Tour is pretty cool.”
Tennis Auckland CEO Rohan West said the signing is a huge boost for the event.
“Naturally we are excited to bring this fantastic event back to Auckland, with the amazing support from ASB,” said West.
“Cam Norrie is a world top-15 player and so that in itself is an amazing signing for us for the ASB Classic. But to have him come back to support a tournament and a city which is part of his tennis DNA is a massive boost.
“Off the back of his outstanding performances at Wimbledon, this is a wonderful signing, and we have several other key players to announce in the weeks ahead.”
Tennis New Zealand chief executive, Julie Paterson said that Norrie’s appearance is not only significant in terms of his world ranking status, but also with his background.
“This is a player who learned the game and developed in this country which is a boost for all young players in New Zealand with aspirations to be professional and also a tap on the back to all those countless, coaches and administrators at clubs throughout New Zealand doing outstanding work with young emerging players.”
The big left-hander has been buoyed by the support he has received from home and his old club at Bucklands Beach.
“I know everyone at Bucklands Beach club was following me. My dad still plays there and his close friends watched and were all talking about it and I have a lot of messages from members of the club. It’s very cool that they were following and sending me of support. I will have to have a hit on the courts there when I am back for the ASB Classic.”
Tickets will go on sale in August, with those wanting to go on the waitlist should click here.