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Cameron Norrie welcomes your Jimmy Connors comparisons at the US Open
At least when it comes to his backhand, the two lefties from opposite eras share a mystical connection, one that helps the Brit excel on the hard courts in New York.
Published Aug 30, 2022
WATCH: Norrie reached his second career Masters 1000 semifinal at the Western & Southern Open earlier this month.
NEW YORK—Tennis has evolved in such a way that one rarely thinks of bygone champions when looking at the modern game.
Cameron Norrie’s heavy backhand successfully busts the stereotype, sporting a lefty swing reminiscent of former world No. 1 Jimmy Connors.
“I think it's a different shot from the rest of my game,” Norrie mused after his opening-round victory against Benoit Paire. “Obviously, my forehand is pretty spinny and it's kind of like a little bunt and it can land pretty short at times, as well. Yeah, it's just a natural shot for me.”
Born a good three years after Connors hung up his racquets, Norrie assures any technical overlap between the two southpaws is purely coincidental.
Not that he minds the compliment.
“I'll take the comparison, for sure. But no, I haven't really watched too many highlights of Connors, but it's a different one, I think. A lot of players, the ball is coming, they are not used to the ball coming so flat from that side and from the deuce corner. I think it's pretty different to see for a lot of players.”
The TCU grad’s on-court mix of the classic and current has made him one of the most formidable players of the last two seasons—particularly on hard courts, where he’s reached seven finals since 2019 and captured the BNP Paribas Open last fall.
Starting the US Open swing with a runner-up finish in Los Cabos, the Brit is fresh off a semifinal run at the Western & Southern Open and feels even more at home on concrete than even Wimbledon’s grass.
“I think I just really like playing on the hard courts, and I think it's my favorite surface,” said the No. 7 seed. “I guess visiting the U.S. in general, everything is pretty easy. There is always good options for food and everything and they know how to run events like this.
“I really love New York in general. So, I think there is a lot of things to like about it, and for me especially the conditions and the way the court plays and it favors my game.”
Might Norrie’s Throwback Thursday backhand help take him into Championship Sunday?