Cameron Norrie believes Novak Djokovic is the “one to beat” in 2023 and has reiterated his goal of getting to No. 1 in the world.
Djokovic missed large chunks of this season due to being unvaccinated against Covid-19, but still finished with five titles, including Wimbledon and the Nitto ATP Finals.
While he might be 2,000 points behind world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the rankings, Norrie thinks Djokovic will set the benchmark next year.
“He is the one to beat,” British No. 1 Norrie told Eurosport.
“He had an incredible year only playing a limited amount of tournaments. I have a lot of respect for him, it’s unbelievable what he did to finish the year the way he did. To play him at Wimbledon and play him quite close, that’s the guy to beat. That’s the competition.
“It’s a good guy to compare to for sure.”
Norrie pushed Djokovic close when they met in the semi-finals of Wimbledon this year.
As well as making the semis of his home Grand Slam, Norrie’s season highlights include wins over Alcaraz and top-10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Holger Rune, as well as hitting a career-high No. 8 in the rankings.
“I want to be world No. 1, that’s a big goal for me. Obviously there’s a lot of things I need to tick off first, I have not been top five yet so it’s a goal I want to put in my mind to make sure every day I am practising towards that and trying to be the best player in the world.
“It’s a tough goal and a long way to go. Anyone can say they want to be No. 1 but the last couple of years I have had, and the level I am playing, I feel I am playing OK tennis and there’s a lot of things I can improve on and a lot of upside left in my game. I feel I can improve in all departments.
“With some of the legends of the game starting to drop off there’s a lot of chances and opportunities. I feel I am among the best players in the world and practising with them and beating them and playing tight matches with them. I am exactly where I want to be and I want to keep pushing for me. I am someone who is never really satisfied.”
Norrie is in action this week at
He is joining five top-10 players at the event – world No. 4 Tsitsipas, world No. 7 Daniil Medvedev, world No. 8 Andrey Rublev, world No. 9 Taylor Fritz and world No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz – to start preparation for the 2023 Australian Open.
Norrie says he hopes to use the next few weeks to lay the groundwork for the upcoming season.
“I want to improve everything. I have a lot of things to improve on. The start of the pre-season you want to focus a lot on the physical side and spend a lot of the time in the gym and get stronger because in the year you are playing a lot of matches so it’s tough to do that gym work around matches.
“So a big focus for me here is to keep the gym up and keep the volume up of practice and play around the matches, because during the ATP season it’s such a big focus to win matches. Obviously here you want to win as well but it’s more of an exhibition format which is good fun as well. The focus is to be ready for Australia.
“I would like to tidy up my net game and come forward more, and work on the drop shots as well.”
Norrie has lost in the first round in three of his four appearances at the Australian Open. He made the third round in 2021.
“I would love to do well there,” he said.
“You always want to start the year strong, I have wanted it too much, the conditions can be a bit quicker there and I have had a couple of tougher draws. I would love to do well. I always feel good there, growing up in New Zealand I feel good in that part of the world and I love starting the year there. I want to start well and do well there but there’s a lot of preparation first.”
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