This Brit (by way of New Zealand) has flown into the top 20 in the last two years and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Cameron Norrie is a product of Texas Christian University joining John Isner and Kevin Anderson as fellow NCAA products to reach the top 10 in the ATP rankings.
The crafty lefty hits huge spin on his forehand contrasted with a very flat stroke on the backhand side. Combined with his lefty slider and patient, persistent tactics, Cam is a heel to play for most players on the tour.
Though he grew up in New Zealand, his parents are British, and he plays under the UK flag on the tour. He’s been the top Brit since October, 2021 and has a Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells along with Wimbledon semifinals and World Tour Finals appearances.
Let’s dive into the former Horned Frog’s equipment!
Here’s Cameron Norrie’s racquet setup:
- Endorsed Racquet: Babolat Pure Strike v3
- Actual Racquet: Babolat Pure Control Tour
- Strings: Luxilon ALU Power 125
As mentioned above, Cam played college tennis at TCU before leaving early to turn pro during the 2017 summer. During that time, he exclusively used what appears to be a retail Babolat Pure Control Tour from 2014. This is the same mold as the Pure Storm/Control line used by Fernando Gonzalez, Sam Stosur, and others in their heydays.
Packed with a 16×20 pattern and a layup that was quite flexible by Babolat standards, Babolat’s answer to the Prestige and Pro Staff packed great feel and control in tandem with Babolat’s trademark power and spin.
It’s a wonderful racquet for somebody like Norrie who likes to exploit his opponents’ weaknesses with his “leftiness” and heavy spin through patient point construction.
So, same thing now?
It appears so! Cam’s racquet has a box beam, 16×20 string pattern, and grommets that match the shape of the Pure Control grommets, even though his stick sports Strike paint.Embed from Getty Images
- An obvious Storm/Control mold under Pure Strike v3 paint. Note string pattern is 16×20 and the box beam along with different throat geometry and grommets.
Norrie plays what is basically a stock Pure Control tour with a bit of extra mass at 12 oclock under the hoop. These frames came with notoriously light swingweights in stock form, around 310 strung up.
That equates to about 280 unstrung and Cam’s specs would match with about 6g of lead being placed under his bumper guard.
A screen capture of a close-up of his racquet revealed his unstrung specs on a sticker from DC Customizing, the shop that prepares his racquets. Cam uses the following:
- Unstrung mass: 327g
- Unstrung balance: 31.3 cm
- Unstrung swingweight: 299
Stock Pure Control Tours were targeted to 320g and 31 cm balance while averaging around 285 for unstrung swingweight, so it’s likely Cam has a little bit of lead under the bumper and possibly a smidge of weight in the handle.
Babolat pro stocks (called “competition” frames internally) are held to a tighter standard for quality control, though. It’s also possible the batch sent for Cam is within a certain spec range.
It’s probably fair to assume he picked his “favorite” racquet from college and had his current specs matched to that.
It could also be an older Storm layup like the Storm Tour GT that he used as a junior, as it had a higher stock swingweight.
This converts to a strung spec with overgrip of about:
- Strung mass: 350g
- Strung balance: 32.1 cm
- Strung swingweight: 330
This is a pretty standard “player’s spec” racquet and fits in nicely with Cam’s whippy forehand and trademark lefty slice serve.
There’s plenty of mass and enough swingweight for stability, and it’s still maneuverable enough for defense.
Mainly, it provides Cam with tons of spin and control to manipulate the ball around the court.
- Screen capture of Cam’s DC Customizing sticker showing his unstrung racquet specs.
Cam reportedly strings his Pure Control up with Luxilon ALU Power 125. This provides him ample control, feel, and spin and is a suitable complement to his surgical game style. Cam’s tension is unknown.
Though he won’t necessarily wow anybody with flashy strokes and 145 mph serves, Cameron Norrie is a consummate professional. He comes to the court with a plan to maximize his strengths and patiently exploit his opponent’s weaknesses.
He’s using the same racquet he’s used since his junior days and that served him well in college. To change anything now after what was a fairly quick rise to the upper echelons of the game would probably shake his confidence and hinder his results.
It’s a traditional frame with a hint of modern spin and pop and should serve Norrie well – no pun intended – for the rest of his crafty career!