Indian Wells Champion Norrie is only the fourth Briton to ever compete in a year-end championship and he had to rely on two injuries to get in
Norrie’s best year of his career had earned him enough points to qualify in tenth for the eight-man year-end championship, which was held for the first time this season in Turin, one of the higher-ranking competitors.
Cameron Norrie was likely making plans for dinner when he received a £ 60,000 call Wednesday but the former No.
And Matteo Berrettini’s withdrawal with an abdominal strain on Tuesday, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas, who withdrew at lunchtime on Wednesday, meant he was drafted just eight hours in advance to play Casper Ruud – a gig that cost him $ 83,000 ( around £ 62,000) will bring you money, win or lose.
Rusedski, who found himself in a very similar situation at the same tournament in 1998 when Andre Agassi and Marcelo Rios were both eliminated, believes Norrie is seeing the call-up coming – and has a lot more than just money on his mind.
“There were rumors of Tsitsipas’ elbow injury in Paris,” said Rusedski I.
“He would have seen that Berrettini was obviously injured” [against Alexander Zverev on Sunday] and thought that there was no way Berrettini would play on Tuesday.
“Even [Hubert] Hurkacz after his match with [Jannik] Sinner, his foot didn’t look right by the end of the game.
“So you have to be mentally focused and prepared because the chance of getting in is almost as many points as winning a 250 event.
“There are 200 points for each round. So if you win two games that’s 400 points which will make a huge difference in your leaderboard. For Sinner, it got him into the top 10 in the world and was knocked out [Felix] Auger aliasime.
“So you are ready to go. That’s not the nicest thing, but you hope someone will get hurt because you want to play.
“You don’t want anyone to get hurt, but deep down you want to get in no matter how you get it.”
This year, after his first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells, Norrie climbed the top 20 in the world for the first time and could crack the top 10 with two wins in Turin.
However, the current UK number 1 is unlikely to qualify for the semi-finals even if he beats world number 1 Novak Djokovic on Friday night; he will need Casper Ruud to do him a favor against Andrey Rublev and beat Ruud in his Wednesday night opener.
The idea of being eliminated without losing a game is potentially annoying – although that was exactly what happened to Rusedski in 1998.
“Andre withdrew and then Rios too,” added Rusedski.
“So I got in, I basically hit [Albert] Costa on my first lap [Tim] Henman in the second round so I was 2-0 in my group, but they changed the rules so you basically had to play three games [to go through]even if your head-to-head race against the other two was better.
“Not that I’m bitter about it! But I would have been in the semifinals.
“At least I can say, ‘Hey, I was unbeaten in the final’ even if I didn’t win the tournament.”
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