Cameron Norrie: Top 100 breakthrough in time for French Open debut

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland
Cameron Norrie is enjoying a good season on clay as he breaks into the top 100
Norrie is enjoying some good form on the unfamiliar clay as he breaks into the top 100

Cameron Norrie has broken into the top 100 a year on from turning professional and aims to keep on rising.

The 22-year-old is expected to reach a ranking of 85 as he enters the French Open next week.

It will be the British number three's third taste of Grand Slam action but the first time he has qualified directly.

"It's a very great achievement, something to be proud of," he told BBC Scotland.

"When I was young I actually never thought I would have got top 100 so it feels really, really good.

"I've been on the verge of being top 100 for almost a month now, so it's great to tick that box.

"But the thing about tennis is you always want more, so now I'm just going to want top 50, top 20, top 10. I just need to enjoy this now."

Norrie, who was ranked 277th last July, earned the biggest win of his fledgling career by beating world number 10 John Isner in the quarter-finals of the Lyon Open.

He will meet experienced Frenchman Gilles Simon in the last four on Friday.

"This time last year I was just finishing up my college career and it was just ridiculous to think that I could be here in the main draw not only of Paris (French Open) but also Wimbledon too," said Norrie.

"It's a very, very surreal feeling. I just need to stay grounded and stay grateful and I think there are still many more great things to come but I have to kind of take a step back at some moments and think how sick it is to be in the main draw in under a year."

Cameron Norrie lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year
Norrie lost to 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round at Wimbledon last year

Born in South Africa to a Scottish father and Welsh mother, Norrie grew up in New Zealand and attended college in the United States.

He was given a Wimbledon wildcard last year and came through qualifying to reach the second round at the US Open.

He is yet to drop a set on the clay in Lyon, a surface he has little experience of, although he did enjoy a remarkable Davis Cup debut in February, beating Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut from two sets down on what was virtually his first match on the red dirt.

Following his 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 success against Isner, Norrie posted a picture of himself with the giant American from seven years ago on social media.external-link

"I remember watching Isner when I was really young and he was a big idol of mine so it's just crazy to be competing against guys like that now," said the left-hander.

"It feels great and especially because it's on clay as well. I haven't had that much exposure on the clay and my body feels great so I'm just really, really happy with how everything is going here in Lyon.

"Why not go all the way? It would be rude not to win. Just keep going, keep rolling."

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