Cameron Norrie is aiming high, very high.
The British No 2 is enjoying a stellar season and recorded his 44th win of the year on Wednesday as he beat Tommy Paul in Indian Wells to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.
If Norrie beats Diego Schwartzman in his next match then he will replace Dan Evans as the British No 1 and may also break into the world's top 20 for the first time in his career. But he has his sights set much higher.
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“The goal is to keep getting better and get towards world No 1,” he told Tennis Channel.
“I have obviously got a long way to go but that’s the goal for me. It’s been a lot of fun this year and I am feeling good and ready to keep pushing for more.
“I just want to keep the momentum every week, keep enjoying my tennis, keep enjoying playing at this level. It’s nice to show this level at these events and the Slams.”
Norrie won 6-4 4-6 6-2 against Paul as he matched Novak Djokovic’s win total for the year.
The 24-year-old has won his first ATP title this season in Los Cabos and reached finals in Lyon and Queen’s. He has also now made nine quarter-finals and his consistent form has him in the top 15 in the ATP Race for Turin, with the top eight qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals.
His coach, Facundo Lugones, who was also his Texas Christian University team-mate when he played college tennis in America, recently explained how Norrie has developed into a “more complete player” for the last few years.
“Now he’s a better tennis player and physically he’s a completely different animal. Back then he had a lot of endurance and was a great competitor, but didn’t have a lot of weapons. He would outlast you, make a lot of balls and be tougher than the other guy.
“Today he has a better serve, he’s stronger, he looks to dictate the point a lot more. He’s more physical and a more complete player.”
Reflecting on his win over Paul, Norrie said: “I was just pleased to be through. I’m not really playing my best but fighting hard and competing as hard as I can. I’m actually, in the big moments, serving well.
“It was a tough match, a lot of breaks in the match. Tommy was playing great and came out in the second set and played very aggressive and was coming forward. I watched him a bit in his previous matches and his percentages coming forward were very high, so I knew what I was in for today.
“I just managed to stay pretty composed in the big moments and serve well when I needed to. All credit to Tommy, he played great and I am pretty good friends with him so it was tough playing him today. It was a big match for both of us so I think we were both feeling the pressure early on. I handled that slightly better at the start and managed to get off to a good lead and settle in the match nicely.”
Schwartzman, who is the 11th seed, beat Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3 to secure his place in the last eight.
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