Home » Wimbledon: Cameron Norrie faces Novak Djokovic in semi-final, Nick Kyrgios receives walkover to final | Tennis News

Wimbledon: Cameron Norrie faces Novak Djokovic in semi-final, Nick Kyrgios receives walkover to final | Tennis News

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Britain’s Cameron Norrie has delivered the best run of his career at a Grand Slam at this year’s Championships

British No 1 Cameron Norrie is ready to ‘take it to’ Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-final, while Nick Kyrgios received a walkover into the final after Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal due to injury.

Norrie joins Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Roger Taylor as the only British men to reach the semi-finals in the singles at the All England Club in the Open Era.

Norrie, the current British No 1, now faces what he believes is the ultimate test at Wimbledon – a match against the world No 1, who is bidding to win a fourth successive title.

The other semi-final between Kyrgios and Nadal was due to take place second on Centre Court on Friday. However, Nadal announced on Thursday evening that he had been forced to withdraw from the tournament.

The Spaniard battled heroically through a four-hour and 21-minute quarter-final against Taylor Fritz, but after a scan and practice on Thursday he made the tough decision not to play.

Norrie ready for Djokovic duel on Centre Court

Norrie and Djokovic have met just once previously on Tour and this will be their first meeting on grass

Norrie and Djokovic have met just once previously on Tour and this will be their first meeting on grass

The British No 1 has broken new ground this year at Wimbledon, after making it past the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

It’s safe to say that Norrie, who has won a number of titles on the ATP Tour, must have been perturbed by his record at majors and is now relishing an extended run at a Slam.

At his home Slam, Norrie is drawing strength from the settled team he has around him and is doing things his way, like cycling to and from the All England Club to his home.

Cameron Norrie – Route to the semi-finals

First round Pablo Andujar – 6-0 7-6 (7-3) 6-3
Second round Jaume Munar – 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-0 6-2
Third round Steve Johnson – 6-4 6-1 6-0
Fourth round Tommy Paul – 6-4 7-5 6-4
Quarter-final David Goffin – 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5

Norrie’s first reaction at facing Djokovic in the semi-final was a positive one and there’s no doubt the Centre Court crowd will get behind him, just like the No 1 Court crowd did on Tuesday.

The British No 1 also knows the record his Serbian opponent holds on Centre Court – Djokovic hasn’t lost on the main show court since Andy Murray beat him in the final in 2013 – but Norrie isn’t fazed.

“It’s obviously one of the toughest tasks in tennis,” Norrie said. “I’d say grass is his favourite surface and his record is unbelievable here at Wimbledon. It’s going to be tough.

Normal Norrie deserving of Wimbledon success

Cameron Norrie’s Grand Slam success has been brewing. After a sensational rise over the last year and a half, he faces the ultimate test against Novak Djokovic.

“But, I’m looking forward to taking it to him and seeing the level he brings. The last time I played him was in Turin, in another big tournament. He played very well but I think I learnt a lot from that.

“I’m going to approach it a little bit differently, tactically. It’s going to be a good challenge, and I’m ready for that.”

I think he’s a great example for all tennis players to look at and go, if you put the effort in day in and day out, properly dedicate yourself to the sport and have an attitude like he does, it can take you a long, long, way.

Andy Murray about Cameron Norrie

In the days between his quarter-final and semi-final, Norrie said that he was likely to reach out to Murray to “see what he’s got” about the world No 1, and why wouldn’t you? Murray is one of a few to beat Djokovic at Wimbledon.

Alongside refining his tactical approach, Norrie will need to work out how he starts faster than he did in his quarter-final. Against David Goffin, he admitted that he “couldn’t feel the ball” early on and it took him until the fourth set to really find his flow.

There’s little to no time to do that against Djokovic, so whether it’s speeding things up, slowing things down or having a few mental practices in his locker like self-talk, Norrie needs to nail it from the first ball on Friday.

Novak Djokovic – Route to the semi-finals

First round Soonwoo Kwon – 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4
Second round Thanasi Kokkinakis – 6-1 6-4 6-2
Third round Miomir Kecmanovic – 6-0 6-3 6-4
Fourth round Tim van Rijthoven – 6-2 4-6 6-1 6-2
Quarter-final Jannik Sinner – 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2

Djokovic himself knows all about the impact of self-talk, after he shared that a ‘pep talk’ during a bathroom break turned around his quarter-final against Jannik Sinner.

Having lost the first two sets, the world No 1 then proceeded to win sets three, four and five, 6-3 6-2 6-2 to reach his 11th Wimbledon semi-final.

Djokovic is bidding to record his 333rd Grand Slam match win

Djokovic is bidding to record his 333rd Grand Slam match win

The fact that Djokovic has now been through this period of strife is ominous for Norrie because the Serb knows just what to do at this stage of a major. In contrast to the Brit, none of what’s to come on Friday will be new for the world No 1.

What is newer though, is playing against a Brit in a major knockout match at Wimbledon again and that’s something the world No 1 has addressed in his mind already.

“We played indoors at the ATP Tour Finals [last time],” he said “Of course, that’s different conditions, a different tournament and environment than playing here in Wimbledon on Centre Court in the semi-finals of a Slam in his country.

“I know what to expect if that happens, you know, in terms of the crowd support. For him, there’s not much to lose. Every victory from now onwards is a big deal for him. I know that.

“But, I know his game well. He’s been around. I will do my homework and get ready.”

Djokovic is bidding to reach his eighth Wimbledon final and become the third player in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon men’s singles final aged 35 or older.

Meanwhile, Norrie will be aiming to become just the second British man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon final.

Kyrgios receives walkover after Nadal withdrawal

Kyrgios will now have a lengthy wait ahead of his first Grand Slam final

Kyrgios will now have a lengthy wait ahead of his first Grand Slam final

Nadal cut a dismayed figure as he announced on Thursday evening that he was being forced to withdraw due to injury.

During his lengthy semi-final, his family were gesturing to him not to play on with the abdominal issue he had, but his competitive spirit and determination drove him on and to victory.

Following a scan on Thursday and time on the practice courts at the All England Club, Nadal announced his decision early in the evening.

As a result there will not be a 10th meeting between Nadal and Kyrgios and the Australian, who is ranked 40 in the world, is now the lowest-ranked and first unseeded Wimbledon men’s finalist since Mark Philippoussis in 2003.

Kyrgios’ tournament, like his tennis game, has had it all. There are off-court legal matters going on back in Australia, and while on court at the All England Club, he’s created headlines for both negative and positive reasons.

Nick Kyrgios – Route to the semi-finals

First round Paul Jubb – 3-6 6-1 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 7-5
Second round Filip Krajinovic – 6-2 6-3 6-1
Third round Stefanos Tsitsipas – 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7)
Fourth round Brandon Nakashima – 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2
Quarter-final Cristian Garin – 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5)

Focusing purely on his tennis, Kyrgios has the all-around game to trouble the very best in the game, as Daniela Hantuchova told Sky Sports.

“From a tennis perspective, it’s just crazy what he can do on a court,” Hantuchova said.

“I had the chance to play an exhibition with him on the same team and I was amazed every time he stepped onto a court, what he can do and his ability. His pure talent it’s unreal and probably one of the best we’ve had in history.”

Kyrgios will now have an elongated wait until the first Grand Slam final of his career, which takes place on Sunday, and you’d expect he will watch the contest between Norrie and Djokovic with great interest.

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