British tennis star Cam Norrie climbs to No 12 in the world rankings… but his feat is overshadowed by Serbian Novak Djokovic’s record-breaking stint as world number one, surpassing WTA legend Steffi Graf’s milestone
- Cameron Norrie finds himself elevated in the world rankings back to number 12
- And Novak Djokovic, 35, celebrated his 378th week overall as world number one
- The Serbian star surpassed the milestone set by WTA legend, German Steffi Graf
Cam Norrie finds himself elevated in the world rankings back to number twelve, although like most others he stands in the shadow of Novak Djokovic’s latest towering achievement.
On Monday the 35-year-old Serb was celebrating his 378th week overall as world number one, surpassing the mark set by WTA legend Steffi Graf.
Djokovic’s feat is all the more remarkable as it comes at a time when he has been barred from competing in America due to his unvaccinated status, meaning that he has only fourteen tournaments contributing to his standing over the past twelve months.
He is back competing at the Dubai Championships this week after his Australian Open triumph, and has yet to hear whether his application to be allowed into the US for next month’s Masters events at Indian Wells and Miami has been successful.
Djokovic’s talent was always going to make him eclipse the likes of Norrie, but the British number one has become that most admirable figure in any sport – the perennial overachiever.
British tennis star Cameron Norrie finds himself elevated up to No 12 in the world rankings
The 27-year-old beat US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz (right) in the clay court Rio Open final
But he, like most others, is in the shadow of Novak Djokovic after the Serbian celebrated his 378th week as world number one, surpassing WTA legend, German Steffi Graf’s all-time record
He demonstrated that again on Sunday night when he kept his head together in the clay court Rio Open final to beat US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz.
Alcaraz was throwing at him a bewildering mix of forehand drives and drop-shots to shorten the point due to problems with his right thigh.
‘It was very special, especially with the way things unfolded, it was really tough to get over the line. It took a lot of heart,’ said Norrie. ‘I had to suffer, run a lot and dig really deep.’
Norrie again showed the resourcefulness which has now seen him win five ATP titles, the latest one being his first at 500 level.
The 27-year-old left-hander would not have thought himself a natural on clay early in his career but, as with many aspects of his progression, he has surprised on the upside and won two of his biggest trophies on the brown dirt.
Both he and Alcaraz are in the draw for the Mexico Open in Acapulco this week, although it was still not 100% certain on Monday that either would play after making the last two finals of February’s South American swing.
While the 19-year-old Spaniard is most definitely a threat to Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the French Open, there is no reason why Norrie could not also make a run there.
His trusted method of booming forehand, crafty backhand and being able to run all day will not make him an easy opponent for anyone.
Had he received points for his Wimbledon semi final last year he would be in the top ten.
One player definitely joining Emma Raducanu in withdrawing this week is Andy Murray, who pulled out of the Dubai tournament after a gruelling week in Doha.
Meanwhile, the Lawn Tennis Association appears close to finally naming a venue for the qualifying round of the Billie Jean King Cup on April 14-15, when Great Britain will host France.
There are only 47 days to go until the tie, and it is the only one in the round that has yet to be allocated a stadium.
With the LTA keen to take these events outside London, The Coventry Indoor Arena has emerged as a potential host of the two-day match.