Cameron Norrie: Britain’s No. 1 deserves Wimbledon success amid sensational rise | tennis news

Can Britain’s Cameron Norrie beat Novak Djokovic?

Cameron Norrie will run and pound, and run and pound, and run and pound as the pitch-covering endurance machine against which long rallies and five-set marathons.

Add a little extra juice to a refined, buildable forehand and you’re left with one of the most improved players on tour over the last year and a half, culminating in a career milestone as the fourth British man in the open era. to get to Wimbledon. semifinals

Norrie overcame an early stumble Tuesday to work and punch his way to a 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over David Goffin and aim for an all-four showdown. finalists with Novak Djokovic. who had come back from two sets to defeat Jannik Sinner earlier in the day.

It marks the best Grand Slam performance of his career and a feat that has been in the works for the modest British tennis star.

Norrie has been cycling to and from the championships, such is the relatively short distance between her home and the All England Club, citing the extra warm-up it offers and the added bonus of avoiding traffic.

Politely refusing the convenience of pre-arranged transportation, she welcomes the normalcy and independence she had sought and flourished while passing through the US university system as a student-athlete. The normality that has worked for him.

He’s discreet and soft-spoken, but that’s his thing now, not to mention why he’s so easy to root for.

This time, though, Center Court applauded a different and understandably emotional Norrie, as the win over Goffin reminded him of the journey to get here.

“Just all the hard work and sacrifices and everything hit me at once,” Norrie said. “Especially the situation, you know, here at Wimbledon in front of my family, my friends and obviously a lot of people following that match.

“For me, just remembering all the hard work and sacrifices and everything, I really didn’t know what to say. I got emotional there and, just a crazy day and a crazy match to get through, especially with the way it started. That’s the reason why you play the sport.”

Norrie is through to a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in her career

Norrie is through to a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in her career

Norrie, who was born in South Africa to a Scottish father and a Welsh mother before growing up in New Zealand, admitted her relationship with tennis had been rocky when she moved to London aged 16 when she decided to pledge allegiance to Great Britain.

School life was different, her routine had changed drastically, but New Zealand could not offer her the same opportunities as Britain. Nearly a decade later, her relationship with tennis is stronger than ever.
After a year in London, Norrie committed to TCU (Texas Christian University) in the US and embraced an environment where he could mature as a man as well as the resources of the NCAA that allowed him to improve his game.

When he chose to turn pro in 2018, Norrie was the leading college player in the nation, with his success and popularity amplified over the past two weeks by an outburst of support for the TCU Horned Frogs on social media.

Norrie cracked the top 100 in her first year as a pro and worked her way to recognition with a Wimbledon debut that ended in a first-round loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a maiden Challenger title and a spot in the second round of the USOpen. , raising the curtain on an unorthodox forehand that perhaps reflects the backswing of a talented cricketer growing up.

A highlight in 2018 saw him come back from a two-set deficit to beat world number 23 Roberto Bautista-Agut on his Davis Cup debut, before reaching his first ATP final at the Auckland Open and entering the top 50 the following year.

However, the real breakthrough came last year, when Norrie closed 2021 having won two of the final six appearances, with Indian Wells among the triumphs, as he racked up 52 singles wins on tour to rise from 74th to 12th in the standings. .

Norrie translated that form in 2022 by defeating Reilly Opelka in the Delray Beach Open final to clinch his third career singles title, before reaching the final in Acapulco, where he lost to Rafael Nadal after beating Stefanos. Tsitsipas. He then broke into the top 10 after reaching the fourth round of the Miami Open, and went on to claim a fourth title in Lyon thanks to a straight-sets victory over Francisco Cerúndolo.

For a period between 2018 and 2020, observers questioned where Norrie’s greatest strength lay; the forehand had potential, the backhand struggled to charm, his cutting and rallying IQ was promising, his game at the net was stable enough and his coverage was impeccable.

Today’s offering is a polished, self-confident package capable of worrying most, and a work ethic to rival the best.

On Friday he faces one of the best, if not the best.

“I think it’s obviously one of the most difficult tasks in tennis,” Norrie said of Djokovic. “I would say grass is his favorite surface and his record is unbelievable here at Wimbledon. It’s going to be tough.”

“I’m looking forward to taking him and seeing the level he brings. I didn’t really see much of him today, but he’s obviously feeling pretty good after coming back from two sets to love. Yeah, it’s going to be tough.” a.”

An attractive Wimbledon draw was proof in itself of Norrie’s ignorance to complacency; what awaits him in the semi-finals is a slightly contrasting challenge to play the match, not the occasion and not the reputation against a player like Djokovic who lures opponents into believing they should do more.

The other men’s semi-final will be decided on Wednesday when American Taylor Fritz takes on second seed Rafael Nadal, while Nick Kyrgios takes on Christian Garin.

In the women’s draw, Simona Halep takes on Amanda Anisimova and Ajla Tomljanovic meets Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals, with third-seeded Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria set to contest the other semifinal.

Norrie to sky sports: I can’t describe it

Cameron Norrie speaking in an exclusive face-to-face with Sky Sports after the win…

“I didn’t have a lot of time to take it in, but it was a crazy day, and to do it the way I did in five sets, coming back from two sets to one, I really can’t describe it.

“Just a lot of emotions and a pretty sick match to get through.

Cameron Norrie faces Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals on Friday after rallying through five sets to beat David Goffin in the quarters.

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Cameron Norrie faces Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals on Friday after rallying through five sets to beat David Goffin in the quarters.

Cameron Norrie faces Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals on Friday after rallying through five sets to beat David Goffin in the quarters.

“Credit to David, he came out shooting, he was moving the forehand and being very precise with his forehand and I think it took a little bit of the energy out of me.

“I was lucky to steal the second set and that gave me a little bit of time to stay in the match.

“I lost a little bit of focus in that third set, but from then on I was hard as nails and I was able to focus a little bit better. I made it physical and I made it really hard.”

“I handled my serve very well in that fifth set, and I played a very good game to break it at 5-5.

“I definitely used it [the crowd’s energy]. It took me too long to use that, and at the end of the fourth set I was passed.

“The whole Court 1 was hectic, it was fired up, and the atmosphere was off the charts in that fifth set with everyone behind me.

“Even that little difference was the difference today, and it could have been the crowd. I definitely used it to my advantage, especially serving for the game.”

“IM happy that [Norrie’s parents] I got to witness it and they definitely deserve a glass of wine each.”

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