Cameron Norrie in the semi-final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California, USA
Cameron Norrie in the semi-final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California, USA | (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Tennis | Nitto ATP Finals 2021 | Norrie takes late alternate opportunity in Turin, loses to Ruud and faces Djokovic next

  • Casper Ruud [8] def Cameron Norrie [10] 1-6 6-3 6-4
  • Norrie v Novak Djokovic [1] | H2H: First Meeting
TURIN, ITALY – Cameron Norrie was a late alternate for Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Nitto ATP Finals but lost his opening match to Casper Ruud in three sets as he faces the world number one Novak Djokovic next.


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Casper Ruud [8] def Cameron Norrie [10] 1-6 6-3 6-4

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An elbow injury meant that Stefanos Tsitsipas became the second player to withdraw from the Nitto ATP Finals after Matteo Berrettini. This meant that Cameron Norrie would have the opportunity to play at the season-ending finals and his first match would be against eighth seed Casper Ruud.

Despite the late notice, Norrie had no problems adapting to his first ever appearance at the season-ending finals as he looked comfortable at the net and creating all sorts of problems through his forehand. A mis-fired cross-court backhand from Ruud gave the Brit an early break lead as he dominated the majority of the points. Another break followed as Norrie had all the answers on court as he took the opening set 6-1 in 33 minutes.

In the second set Ruud improved his ability to create effective patterns on the semi-fast Turin court as he slowly figured out Norrie’s game. Neither player was troubled on serve until the eighth game when the Norwegian produced a low approach shot which Norrie couldn’t return back at the net allowing Ruud the crucial break. A comfortable hold sealed the second set for the eighth seed as the match went to a deciding set.

The level of the deciding set was at an exhilarating standard as both players pushed for the early break. Norrie’s defence managed to keep Ruud’s attack out of reach for a while with some consistently jaw-dropping shots especially from the backhand. However in the fifth game a costly double fault handed the Norwegian the crucial break for a 3-2 lead.

Norrie tried to break back and managed to save match points in the tenth game to take Ruud to his limits. However Ruud’s firepower was too much as he closed out the match to become the first Norwegian to win a match at the Nitto ATP Finals.


Cameron Norrie [10] v Novak Djokovic [1] H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Cameron Norrie [10] v Novak Djokovic [1]

H2H: First Meeting

Nitto ATP Finals

Turin, Italy

Indoor Hard

Prize Money: €173,000

Scheduled on Centre Court, not before 9pm (8pm GMT)

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Norrie’s second and final match of the ATP Finals will be against world number one Novak Djokovic who has already topped his group with wins over Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021 – Hard)


Cameron Norrie (WR 12)

Novak Djokovic (WR 1)

Tournament Previous Best


Winner (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

1st Serve %



Service Games Won %



Break Points Saved %



2nd Serve Return Points Won %



Break Points Converted %



Djokovic’s current form and confidence is evident in the statistics with the Serb dominant in all areas. The area where Norrie can get the most joy is on the second serve return.


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Playing Styles and Prediction

Djokovic has continued to show why he is the best player in the world this season winning three of the four grand slams and finishing the year as world number one. The Serb is undoubtedly the favourite for the title in Turin having won Paris last week and looking imperious on serve.

Norrie will need to be aggressive from the start of the match and use his variety to catch the world number one off guard. Having already qualified for the semi-finals Djokovic will not go all-out for the win so if Norrie can bring a high intensity and consistency to the match then he could cause an upset win. Either way playing the world number one at the season-ending finals will be an experience Norrie will remember for a long time.

Prediction: Djokovic in three sets. 


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