Cameron Norrie is on song to silence Harry Styles-superfan Andrey Rublev at the US Open. And Davis Cup captain Leon Smith reckons the British No.1 is going in only one direction amid the noise in the Louis Armstrong Stadium today.
World No.11 Rublev is such a Styler he has twice been to see the British superstar in concert at Madison Square Garden. “I really like the show,” said the Russian. “I like music”. The 24-year-old was even once part of a cover band which made music videos of One Direction songs.
But with a top-of-the-bill date with Rafa Nadal awaiting the winner, Smith warned Norrie has raised his performances since reaching the semi-finals of his home Grand Slam.
“I think Wimbledon was huge for him – the confidence he got from that is very significant,” said the Scot.
“He has always had that focus in the last few years but now if you mix that with the confidence he’s got and how he believes in himself, reaching the latter stages of Slams. Getting to the second week here is really good but he will want to go further again and will back himself. He is playing well enough.”
Unlike fellow British No.1 Emma Raducanu, Norrie has also benefited from working with his Argentine coach Facundo Lugones since 2017. “The consistency of his team is really important and they have grown with him on this journey,” said Smith.
Norrie and Rublev are 1-1 in head-to-head clashes but the Brit won their last meeting in San Diego last year. Smith, who will have Norrie leading his team in the Davis Cup group matches in Glasgow next week (Sept 13-18), said: “It will be an extremely physical match, they have met a couple of times before, it’s good that Cam’s got a win against him. I think it could be a brutal match and long which is good for Cam. I think it’s a match up where he can cause Rublev problems. But he is going to have to weather some storms as well because Rublev is that good.