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Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday December 9
24 --- Howick and Pakuranga Times, Monday, December 9, 2013 www.times.co.nz FOLLOW US ON BAD CALLS: One of the greatest joys of being involved in sport is the thrill of the unexpected. But there are two instances in the sporting realm when the unpredicted is definitely unwanted: video refereeing decisions and awards ceremonies. ➤ Page 23 124401 CAMERON Norrie has no regrets about his change of allegiances to the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Norrie, of Bucklands Beach, is back in New Zealand for the frst time since switch- ing camps to Great Britain in May. The 18-year-old qualifes to wear the Union Jack through his parents being born there, and was headhunted to join the LTA after reaching the top 10 in the ITF world junior rankings earlier this year. He relocated to the National Tennis Centre in London, where he is provided accom- modation, coaching, hitting partners, nutrition advice, physiotherapy and, most importantly, access to a lot more tournaments. “There were just better opportunities to train and being based in Europe is per- fect because it’s so expensive to travel from New Zealand,” says Norrie. “The tennis is really good. I was training every day and got quite strong. “My serve has come along a lot, as well as my tactical game. “People have said my volley has improved and I’m moving better than I was last year.” The decision to defect from Tennis NZ came after years of frustratingly little funding from the national body. Ironically, Norrie’s return coincides with tennis being back in the headlines for the lack of support available to its top players, after assistance was denied to WTA number 47 Marina Erakovic. She told the NZ Herald recently a different passport is a young Kiwi’s only ticket to tennis success. “[Cameron] actually asked me should he do it or not, and I told him ‘yes’ without even a second thought. “He’s going to get a coach paid for, he’s going to get access to facilities to train at – there’s just no comparison.” Norrie has also been advised by former world number four Greg Rusedski, who repre- sented his native Canada before adopting British citi- zenship in the 1990s. “He did the same thing [change nationalities] when he was bit older,” says Norrie. “He offered to help me out. It was a nice gesture.” Norrie has been accepted amongst his new country- men, having debuted for Great Britain in the LTA Junior Challenge Trophy against the United States in June, but struggled with life away from his New Zealand home for the frst time. “That was quite tough for me. I need to fnd the balance between tennis and getting away from it. I’m good friends with most of the guys now.” The Times can also reveal that Norrie has been offered a place at the University of Michigan in the US from August next year. “There was a stage when I was thinking I was going to go pro, but it was always a plan to go to a college in the States. “Tennis wise it’s 50-50. For some it’s better to go pro, but for me I think it will be better to go to college. “It means I have a backup plan if I don’t make it in ten- nis. It’s a safer decision. “The average age of the ATP top100is27or28,soIneed time to physically develop. “I won’t have the scarring of losing all the time in futures tournaments and will be able to hit those harder than I would have.” Norrie spent three days at the college in Ann Arbor, near the Canadian border, after playing the US Junior Open in September. He was courted with tick- ets to an American football match between the Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which set the T ➤ urntoPage23 ONE TO WATCH: University of Michigan Wolverines recruit Cameron Norrie lines up a backhand for Honda Cockle Bay during the semi-finals of the Caro Bowl. Times photo Daniel Silverton Norrie's a Wolverine in London In his first media interview since accepting an offer to represent Great Britain, Cameron Norrie tells Times Sport reporter Daniel Silverton how the decision is panning out and unveils his plans for the future.
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