Tennis: Former Kiwi Cameron Norrie hopes for hometown support as ASB Classic contender

ASB Classic men's second seed Cameron Norrie has set his sights on going one better than his runner-up finish in 2019. 

NZ-raised Norrie has shot up the tennis world rankings since his last appearance at the tournament four years ago and despite now representing Great Britain, he hopes the local crowd will be right behind him. 

"It's very special to be back in New Zealand," said the world No.14 on the courts he grew up playing on. 

"Coming out to Manukau here, I think I played my first under-eights tournament here, seeing the club, it hasn't changed too much."

It's a far cry from the manicured lawns of Wimbledon, where Norrie was a semi-finalist last year

Despite now playing under the British flag, Norrie still has strong ties to New Zealand - and unfinished business at the ASB Classic.

"[I'm] looking to go one better and win the title," he continued. "It's great to have my family here watching.

"My parents still live in Bucklands Beach."

As a result, Norrie hopes he'll be backed like a hometown favourite.

"I just want to show New Zealand really what I've got, and I think there's a lot of people in New Zealand tennis who know me and grew up coaching me, helping me.

"I think it's special for them to come and see me play."

Whether that's indoors or outdoors isn't a concern for Norrie, 27, but organisers hope for better weather than the rain that plagued the women's tournament. 

Cameron Norrie at Wimbledon (2022).
Cameron Norrie at Wimbledon (2022). Photo credit: Getty Images

"It's not a secret that we have struggled with the weather this week," said tournament director Nicolas Lamperin. "Any dry patches are greatly appreciated."

Lamperin looks forward to a strong men's field, with world No.3 Casper Ruud topping the bill. 

"Two great seeds with Casper and Cameron," Lamperin continued. "There are some great first-round matches to be played and hopefully keep entertaining fans throughout the week."

Entertainment, a Kiwi connection and hopefully some more sunshine will kick off part two of the ASB Classic.