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‘I’ll take it to Djokovic’ – Norrie raring to go in maiden Grand Slam semi-final

The British No 1 used the noisy Court No 1 crowd – including its royal spectators – to his advantage in the quarter-final, and wants to do the same in the semi

Cameron Norrie Britain’s Cameron Norrie celebrates winning his quarter final match against Belgium’s David Goffin (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

If you thought Cameron Norrie would be nervous or put off by the prospect of facing Novak Djokovic of all people in his first ever Grand Slam semi-final, you thought wrong.

“I think it’s obviously one of the toughest tasks in tennis,” he said to journalists following his quarter-final win over David Goffin. “I’d say grass is his favourite surface and his record is unbelievable here at Wimbledon. It’s going to be tough.

“I’m going to have to improve a lot of things from today. I don’t think I’m going to have the chance to lose focus like I did today. I think I was a little bit fortunate. I, a couple of times, lost a little bit of focus and managed to get it back. I think with him, there is no room for that.

Cameron Norrie
Britain’s Cameron Norrie reacts during his quarter final match against Belgium’s David Goffin (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

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

Norrie: ‘I played the bigger points better’

The 26-year-old knows he will have the crowd on his side, though. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge swapped their seats on Centre Court for ones on Court No 1 by the end of the quarter-final – the Duchess sneaking in first, then joined by her husband. And despite Goffin’s best efforts, Norrie used the crowd energy to his advantage.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, with Tim Henman on Court No 1 during the quarter-final match between Belgium’s David Goffin and Britain’s Cameron Norrie (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

“I think David did a good job of kind of hushing the crowd, you know, that he was playing at such a high level and was really giving me nothing,” said Norrie. “Yeah, I think at the end of the fourth there, that 4-3 game I really got the crowd involved, and from then on, they were behind me every point. I think it frustrated him a little bit.

“Maybe that was the difference today. You know, especially it was only one or two points in it, I think I saw a stat where he actually won more points than me in the match. Just shows that I played the bigger points better than him. That’s something I’ve been talking about and working a lot with my team. It’s nice to do that on the biggest match of my life so far in my career.”

Norrie: ‘I think it’s stressful for my parents!’

Norrie will also have his parents there with him. They live in New Zealand and have missed much of his rapid rise due to Covid-induced travel restrictions, but they are enjoying their return to the UK – even if his mum has been crying a lot.

“I think every match that I’ve won this week my mum has cried, regardless of which one it was!” smiled Norrie. “So I think, yeah, the matches are getting bigger and the moments are getting more special.

“I think they’re just super happy for me that I’m doing something that I love, and it’s just a bonus that I’m winning. I think it was probably pretty stressful for them today.

“They came over after the match when I was on the bike and both gave me a big hug, and my sister too. Very cool to have them here watching. Obviously very rare for them to be here and watching, especially over the last couple of years. To see me playing at the level that I have been and to get some wins and to experience moments like that is exactly why they came. I’m happy they made the trip.”

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