Norrie’s brutal schedule backfires as Brit forced into late withdrawal

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Cameron Norrie withdrew from his Korea Open quarter-final on Friday, less than an hour before he was due onto court. The British No 1 pulled out citing illness after admitting he was jet lagged following his previous match. It comes after Norrie revealed he was committing to a brutal schedule in an attempt to qualify for the year-end ATP Finals.

Norrie was set to play Jenson Brooksby in the quarter-final in Seoul on Friday but pulled out with less than an hour before the pair were set to take to the court, citing illness. The world No 8 said he was feeling jet lagged following his 6-2 6-2 victory over Kaichi Uchida in his opening match and gave world No 46 Brooksby a walkover into the semi-final when he was unable to play his next match.

The British No 1 has committed to a hectic schedule as he bids to qualify for the ATP Finals for the first time in his career. The 27-year-old played one match at the year-end championships in Turin last year – losing to Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-1 – but has his sights set on his own spot this year, with the eight men who have won the most points this season earning a place at the tournament.

“For me, I’m going to make a big push for Turin,” Norrie admitted during the recent Laver Cup. “I think I’m knocking on the door there. I think I’m 11 or 12 on the race at the moment. I’m going to try and make a big push there.”

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Outlining his intended schedule to try and earn as many points as possible, the Wimbledon semi-finalist was planning five tournaments in the space of six weeks. He added: “I’m going to Seoul, Tokyo, a week off, Stockholm, Vienna, Paris. Pretty full schedule. A lot of points on the line, and a lot of tennis to be played.

“Yeah, like I said, I want to just go all in to try and make Turin.” But it appears that the quick turnaround from the Laver Cup in London’s O2 Arena to the Korea Open has been too much for Norrie, who has fallen at the first hurdle in his exhausting schedule.

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The world No 8 will play next week’s Japan Open in Tokyo, with the likes of world No 2 and Laver Cup teammate Casper Ruud also on the entry list. Norrie and Ruud were part of Team Europe when they relinquished the title to Team World for the first time in Laver Cup history, and the rival team’s players Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Alex De Minaur are also all making the trip to Tokyo for the ATP 500 event.

2022 marks the first time the tournament is being played since the Covid pandemic with Djokovic the last man to win the Japan Open title back in 2019, but the Serb will be playing the Astana Open instead of flying to Tokyo to defend his title. And the tournament will also see Nick Kyrgios play for the first time since crashing out of the US Open in the quarter-final.

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