Cameron Norrie says he produced the “the best tennis I have played in my life” during his French Open main-draw debut, as he eased into the second round at Roland Garros.
The 22-year-old moved up to a career-high world No 85 earlier on Monday courtesy of his run to the semi-finals in Lyon last week and demonstrated why he is making positive strides in the men’s game with a quick victory against Peter Gojowczyk.
Norrie raced through the opening set 6-1 and after Gojowczyk received lengthy on-court treatment for an injury, his world No 43 German opponent retired injured trailing 2-0 in the second set – with the British No 3 in complete control.
“I didn’t see [the retirement] coming, not at all,” said Norrie. “He was hitting the ball big and hitting well. It didn’t look like anything was bothering him too much.
“But I think at the start of the second set on his serve and then a little bit on his movement, I wrong-footed him a couple times.
“I was playing great. I was serving really well. I think that was the best tennis I have played in my life. I was in the zone and not making any unforced errors, being the one dictating play.
“And I think if he’s winning that match, there’s no chance he’s retiring. So I think I outplayed him throughout, and it was unfortunate for him to pick up an injury.
Norrie’s Grand Slam main draw wins
Cameron Norrie’s only other victory on the Grand Slam stage was also after a retirement. He defeated Dmitry Tursunov at the US Open last year.
“I would love to have kept playing, actually. I was feeling really good out there. At the US Open, I got my first win with a retirement as well, so it would be nice actually to win a match, but I’ll take it.”
Norrie will aim to continue his fine form on clay when he meets French home favourite Lucas Pouille in the second round and he is grateful to have not wasted time on court.
“It’s nice to have a little bit of a shorter match,” added Norrie. “I know it’s going to be tough against Pouille so it’s nice to save the energy for that.
“This time last year I didn’t even come here and I didn’t really follow it at all. I headed straight to London and just got ready for the grass.
“But thinking about this time last year, I’m psyched to be ranked 85 in the world and in the second round of the French Open, that’s for sure.”