He finally got there. Since his debut on the professional circuit in June 2017, Cameron Norrie had never passed the third round in a Grand Slam. Here he is in the last four, Friday July 8, which is moreover at home, at Wimbledon. Alongside superstars Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, or even Australian Nick Kyrgios, he is a plittle thumb. The Briton, who revealed himself last year, hopes to reach a new level in his progress by overcoming a Djokovic for the moment unsinkable. Franceinfo: sport tells you more about one of the Top 15 players less known to the general public.
It explodes in 2021
Son of a Scottish father and a Welsh mother, nBritish aturalised in 2013, this New Zealander from Johannesburg (South Africa) exploded on the ATP circuit in 2021. In the Grand Slam tournaments, he fell almost every time on a sacred monster. Stopped by Nadal in Melbourne in the third round, he jostled him slightly at the same stage at Roland-Garros, before colliding with Federer at Wimbledon, still at this stage of the tournament. At the US Open, he fell in his first match against a nugget named Carlos Alcaraz.
Nevertheless, during this pivotal year in his career, he won his first two tournaments. In July, he won the Mifel Open (ATP 250) in Mexico. Especially in October Cameron Norrie lifted the Indian Wells Masters 1000 trophy by notably dismissing Roberto Bautista-Agut, Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov then Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final. Never a Briton had triumphed in the history of the Coachella Valley tournament.
Building on this success, he ended the year finishing in 12th place in the standings. Taking advantage of the absences of Rafael Nadal and Félix Auger-Aliassime, as well as the withdrawals of Alexander Zverev and Stéfanos Tsitsipás, he was even able to participate in the ATP Finals. He crossed swords there with Novak Djokovic, for their only confrontation. Results ? A stinging defeat, 6-2 6-1, in just over an hour.
A year of ups and downs in 2022
More discreet since the start of the 2022 season, Cameron Norrie disappointed in the first Grand Slam tournaments. He was beaten in the first round in Australia by Sebastian Korda, before giving up in the third against Karen Khachanov. No more success during the Masters 1000, thehe Briton however continued to enrich his prize list, with two new titles, in Delray Beach and Lyon (two ATP 250).
Cameron Norrie therefore arrived at Wimbledon without many certainties. Difficult then to bet a coin on the powerful left-hander with an extraordinary backhand.
The No.9 seed began by overpowering the experienced Pablo Andújar in three sets, before winning a scrappy match over Jaume Munar in five sets. In the third round, he finally defeated the Indian sign by sweeping Steve Johnson (6-4, 6-1, 6-0), before overcoming the American Tommy Paul in the round of 16, still in three sets. Finally, on Tuesday, after a 3:28 match, he broke David Goffin after being led two sets to one (3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5).
It has become the darling of the British
As the games went on, the Londoners’ patriotic infatuation with the leader of the British contingent turned into furious fury. This was confirmed in particular against Goffin, where the Center Court pushed on each point, encouraged by Norrie himself, before getting up with a single bound on the match point.
No doubt surprising his fans, the Briton may also have been underestimated by his opponent due to his previous results. “Having Cameron Norrie to go to the semis, I don’t know if that will happen to me again”thus declared David Goffin after his defeat.
Will Norrie be able to enjoy the same advantage against Djokovic? If his previous result against the Serb does not bode well, this baseline player can hope to be transcended by supporters. They dream of him as the successor to Andy Murray, the last British winner at Wimbledon (2013 and 2016).