Cameron Norrie: Britain's No. 1 deserves Wimbledon success amid sensational rise

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

Can Britain’s Cameron Norrie beat Novak Djokovic?

Cameron Norrie will run and punch, and run and punch, and run and punch as the endurance machine against which long rallies and five-set marathons have now been etched and underlined on the “try to avoid” list of the tour.

Add some extra juice to a refined and cocked forehand and you’ve got yourself one of the most improved players on the tour in the last year and a half, culminating in a career milestone as the fourth Briton in the league. Open era to reach Wimbledon. semi-finals.

Norrie overcame an early Tuesday stumble to work and beat his way to a 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5 victory over David Goffin and a pencil in a final four showdown with Novak Djokovic, who fought back after two sets to defeat Jannik Sinner earlier in the day.

It is a career-best Grand Slam performance and a feat that is brewing for the lowly British tennis star.

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

Gracefully refusing the comfort of pre-arranged transportation, he rejoices in the normalcy and independence he had sought and flourished while traversing the American college system as a student-athlete. The normality that worked for him.

He’s quiet and talks delicately, but that’s his thing now, not to mention why he’s so easy to root for.

Although on this occasion Center Court applauded a different and understandably emotional Norrie, the win over Goffin reminding him of the journey to get here.

“Just all the hard work and the sacrifices and everything kind of 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 who follow this game.

“For me, just thinking back on all the hard work and sacrifices and stuff, I didn’t really know what to say. I got emotional there, and, just a crazy day and a crazy game to go through, especially with the way it started. That’s why you play this sport.”

Norrie makes it to a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in his career

Norrie makes it to a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in his career

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

School life was different, her routine had changed drastically, but New Zealand could not offer her the same opportunities as Great Britain. Almost a decade later, his relationship with tennis is stronger than it has ever been.
After a year in London, Norrie committed to TCU (Texas Christian University) in the United States and embraced an environment in which he could grow as a man as much as the NCAA resources that enabled him to improve his game.

By the time he opted to turn pro in 2018, Norrie was the nation’s leading college player, with his success and popularity boosted over the past fortnight by an outburst of TCU Horned Frogs support on social media.

Norrie cracked the top 100 in his first year as a professional and worked his way to recognition with a Wimbledon debut ending in a first round loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a first Challenger title and a place in the second round of the US Open. , raising the curtain on an unorthodox forehand clearance perhaps reflecting the rear heave of a talented cricketer growing up.

A highlight of 2018 saw him overturn 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 break into the top 50 the following year.

The real emergence came last year, however, when Norrie closed out 2021 having won two of the final six appearances, with Indian Wells among the triumphs, while claiming 52 singles victories on tour to move from 74th to 12th. of the rank.

Norrie translated that form into 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 defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas. He then broke into the top 10 after reaching the fourth round of the Miami Open, and followed that up by winning a fourth title in Lyon with a straight-sets win over Francisco CerĂșndolo.

For a period between 2018 and 2020, observers wondered where Norrie’s greatest strength lay; the forehand had potential, the backhand was struggling to win, his field and rally IQ was promising, his net game was quite stable and his coverage was flawless.

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

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

“I think that’s obviously one of the hardest jobs 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 can’t wait to bring it to him and see the level he brings. I haven’t really watched him too much today, but he’s obviously feeling pretty good after coming back from two sets to love. Yeah, it’s going to be a tough one.”

An inviting draw at Wimbledon was a test in itself of Norrie’s ignorance to complacency; Awaiting him in the semis is a slightly contrasting challenge to play the game, not the opportunity and not the reputation against a Djokovic player who lures opponents into thinking they need to do more.

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

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

Norrie at sky sports: i can’t describe it

Cameron Norrie speaking during an exclusive one-on-one with Sky Sports following the…

“I didn’t have too much time for it to sink in, but it was just a crazy day, and to do it like I did in five sets, coming back two sets to one, I don’t can’t really describe it.

“Just a lot of emotions and quite a sick game to go through.

Cameron Norrie will face Novak Djokovic in the semi-final at Wimbledon on Friday after coming through five sets to beat David Goffin in the quarters.

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Cameron Norrie will face Novak Djokovic in the semi-final at Wimbledon on Friday after coming through five sets to beat David Goffin in the quarters.

Cameron Norrie will face Novak Djokovic in the semi-final at Wimbledon on Friday after coming through five sets to beat David Goffin in the quarters.

“Thanks to David, he came out shooting, he was moving the forehand and was very precise with his forehand and I think that zapped my energy a bit.

“I was lucky to steal the second set and that gave me some time to still be in the game.

“I lost a bit of focus in that third set, but from there I was tough as nails and able to focus a bit better. I made it physical and really tough.

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

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

“All of Court 1 was hectic, he was shooting and the atmosphere was out of the ordinary in that fifth set with everyone behind me.

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

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

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