Cameron Norrie: Britain’s No 1 deserving of Wimbledon success amid sensational rise | Tennis News

Can Britain’s Cameron Norrie defeat Novak Djokovic?

Cameron Norrie will run and punch and run and punch and run and punch as the space-covering endurance machine against which protracted rallies and five-set marathons are now on the Tour’s ‘try to avoid’ list.

Stir a little more juice into a refined and armed forehand and you have one of the most improved players on the circuit in the last year and a half, culminating in a career milestone as only the fourth Briton of the Open era to reach Wimbledon semifinals.

Norrie overcame an early stumble on Tuesday to prevail and thrash in a 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over David Goffin and in a Final Four showdown with Novak Draw Djokovic. who had fought 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 brewing for the unassuming star of British tennis.

Norrie has cycled to and from the Championships, such is the relatively short distance between his home and the All England Club, citing the extra warm-up it provides and the added bonus of skipping traffic.

Graciously refusing the convenience of pre-arranged transportation, he embraces the normalcy and independence he sought and thrived on as he made his way through the US college system as a student athlete. The normal that worked for him.

He’s reserved and sensitive, but that’s his thing now, not to mention why he’s so easy to cheer on.

On this occasion, however, Center Court applauded a different and understandably emotional Norrie as defeating Goffin reminded him of the journey here.

“Just all the hard work and the sacrifices and it all kind of hit me all 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 this game.

“Just kind of thinking back, all the hard work, the sacrifices and everything, I kind of didn’t really know what to say. I got emotional there and mostly just a crazy day and a crazy match to get by with the way it started. That’s why you play this sport.

Norrie is in a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time in his career

Norrie is in a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time in his career

Norrie, who was born in South Africa to a Scottish father and Welsh mother before growing up in New Zealand, admitted his relationship with tennis was difficult when he moved to London aged 16 when he decided to leave Britain to swear allegiance.

School life was different, his routine had changed drastically, but New Zealand couldn’t offer him the same opportunities as Britain. Almost a decade later, his relationship with tennis is as strong as ever.
After a year in London, Norrie committed to TCU (Texas Christian University) in the US and welcomed an environment that allowed him to mature as a man as well as the NCAA resources that allowed him to improve his game.

When he decided to turn pro in 2018, Norrie was the nation’s leading collegiate player, with his success and popularity bolstered over the past two weeks by a burst of support for the TCU Horned Frogs on social media.

Cracking the top 100 in his freshman year as a pro, Norrie made his debut with a Wimbledon debut that ended with a first-round loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a first Challenger title and a second-round berth at the US Open , the road to recognition , raising the curtain on an unorthodox forehand salvo perhaps reflecting the back raison of a talented cricketer in the making.

A highlight of 2018 was his coming from a two-set deficit in his Davis Cup debut, beating world No. 23 Roberto Bautista-Agut before reaching his first ATP final at the Auckland Open and following year in the top 50.

The real rise came last year, however, when Norrie ended 2021 with two finals wins out of six, with Indian Wells among the triumphs, while racking up 52 individual wins on the tour and going from 74th to 12th in the rankings rise.

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

For a period between 2018 and 2020, observers asked where Norrie’s greatest strength lay; The forehand had potential, the backhand was struggling to fall in love, his passing and rallies IQ showed promise, his net play was stable enough and his coverage was flawless.

Today’s offering is a polished, confident package that can unnerve most, and a work ethic that rivals the best.

On Friday he meets one of the best, if not the very 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 here at Wimbledon is incredible. it’s gonna be tough

“I look forward to taking it to him and seeing the level he brings. I haven’t really seen too much of him today but he’s obviously feeling pretty good after coming back from two sets to love. Yes, it will be difficult.”

A welcoming tie at Wimbledon was a test of Norrie’s ignorance of complacency; Awaiting him in the semifinals is a bit of an opposite challenge to play the match, not the opportunity and not the reputation against a player in Djokovic that leads opponents to believe they need to do more.

The other men’s semifinals will be decided on Wednesday when USA’s Taylor Fritz meets second seed Rafael Nadal while Nick Kyrgios meets Christian Garin.

In the women’s draw, Simona Halep meets Amanda Anisimova in the quarterfinals and Ajla Tomljanovic meets Elena Rybakina, while Ons Jabeur and third-placed Tatjana Maria play the other semifinal.

Norrie to Sky Sports: I can not describe it

Cameron Norrie speaks to Sky Sports in an exclusive one-on-one after the win…

“I didn’t have too much time to process it but it was just a crazy day and doing it like I did in five sets coming back from two sets to one isn’t really something I can describe it.

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

Cameron Norrie meets Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at Wimbledon on Friday after beating David Goffin in five sets in the quarterfinals.

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Cameron Norrie meets Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at Wimbledon on Friday after beating David Goffin in five sets in the quarterfinals.

Cameron Norrie meets Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at Wimbledon on Friday after beating David Goffin in five sets in the quarterfinals.

“Thanks to David, he came out shooting, he moved the forehand around and was very accurate with his forehand and I think it zapped my energy a bit.

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

“I lost a bit of focus in that third set, but I was tough from there and was able to focus a little bit better. I did it physically and made it really hard.

“I managed my serve very well in the fifth set and played a very good game to break at 5-5.

“I definitely used it [the crowd’s energy]. I took a little too much time to capitalize on that and by the end of the fourth set they put me through.

“The whole of Court 1 was in turmoil, there was shooting and the atmosphere was exceptional in that fifth set with everyone behind me.

“Even that small difference was the difference today and it could have been the audience. I definitely used it to my advantage, especially when I came out to serve for the game.

“I’m just glad she [Norrie’s parents] I got to witness it and they definitely deserve a glass of wine each.”

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