Great Britain’s final hope of a singles champion at this year’s Wimbledon is still alive.
It took all the resilience he has, but ninth seed Cameron Norrie found a way to rally past former World No. 7 David Goffin 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday for a place in his first major semi-final. The lefty is the fourth British man in the Open Era to advance to the last four at The Championships.
“Just winning a match like this, I’m in shock. I don’t know what to say now,” an emotional Norrie said in his on-court interview. “But just straight flashbacks to all the hard work, all the preseasons and all the sacrifices I’ve had to make. So it definitely pays off and it feels pretty good.”
Entering the tournament, Norrie had never reached a major quarter-final. The 26-year-old will now play six-time champion Novak Djokovic for a spot in the championship match.
“It’s great to get this, but it only gets tougher. I’m going to come out, I’m going to enjoy that and take it to him,” Norrie said. “Hopefully you guys can get behind me again. I’m sure you will… Looking forward to it. Can’t enjoy it too much now, just [need to] get ready for Novak in a couple of days.”
Early on, Norrie made an uncharacteristic number of unforced errors: 33 in the first three sets. But once the lefty was able to rein in his groundstrokes and harness the emotions of the No. 1 Court crowd, he found his best tennis to surge past Goffin after three hours and 28 minutes.
“It just wasn’t going my way from the beginning. Wasn’t feeling good and feeling the ball. That was all credit to David. He was moving me, playing really good and I couldn’t find my game,” Norrie said, before addressing the crowd. “Then thanks to you guys, I managed to stay as patient as I could and it was all just adrenaline and just used my legs at the end and tried to put the ball in the court. It’s great to get over the line.”
One advantage Norrie had leading into the final set was that in the fourth round, Goffin needed four hours and 36 minutes to defeat Frances Tiafoe. But even so, the Belgian earned a break point in the second game of the decider. Goffin was positioned well in the point, but he hooked a crosscourt forehand into the net, and that would be his best opportunity.
Lung Power Helping Norrie In Journey To The Top
Norrie took the action to his opponent and played fearless tennis in the critical moments. After making two unforced errors while serving for the match, Norrie responded with an ace and a big “Come on!” After letting slip his first match point, Norrie converted his second when Goffin missed a backhand into the net. Norrie lifted both arms in the air like a boxer after winning a championship fight, with a wide smile across his face.
A former college tennis star at Texas Christian University, Norrie joined Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Roger Taylor as the only British men in the Open Era to make the semi-finals at Wimbledon. The only other active British men to advance this far at a major are Murray and Kyle Edmund.
Norrie is now 4-4 in five-setters, having also rallied from two sets to one down against Jaume Munar in the second round.
Goffin was also trying to reach his first major semi-final. If the No. 58 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings won, he would have become the lowest-ranked men’s singles semi-finalist at The Championships since 2008.
Did You Know?
One year ago, Norrie was No. 34 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Now he is No. 12, and in April he reached a career-high of World No. 10. The lefty claimed his first ATP Masters 1000 title last year in Indian Wells at the BNP Paribas Open.