Novak Djokovic beats Britain’s Cameron Norrie to settle Wimbledon final with Nick Kyrgios

Cameron Norrie made Center Court dream before his brilliant run at Wimbledon ended in a semi-final loss to defending champion Novak Djokovic.

The British number one, who had never progressed past the third round of a Grand Slam before, had taken full advantage of a favorable draw to become only the fourth home player of the Open era here to reach the last four in men’s singles.

But trying to beat Djokovic, who hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since 2017, was a whole different challenge and although Norrie made an excellent start the top seed hit back forcefully to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-6. 2, 6-4 and set up a delicious final against Nick Kyrgios on Sunday.

Six-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic has extended his streak of consecutive turf wins to 27 and is the first man to reach 32 Grand Slam finals, while losing just one of his last 19 Slam semifinals.

Norrie will no doubt be disappointed that he failed to reach a First Slam final, but ninth place showed that he is truly at the top of the world and that he may have more chances in the future.

Djokovic has won at least one Grand Slam title every year since 2010 – and usually two or three – with the exception of 2017 when he was plagued by elbow problems.

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Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts with Britain’s Cameron Norrie after beating him in a Wimbledon men’s singles semi-final

However, he arrived at Wimbledon knowing it would likely be his last chance of the season after being deported from Australia and losing in the quarter-finals at the French Open, and with a Covid-19 vaccination record, which is still a requirement for entry into the United States is States.

Despite the Serb’s experience, it was a huge match and it was certainly him who seemed the more nervous in the early stages.

When Norrie, who had won just three games in their only meeting last year, won the first point on serve, a tremendous roar erupted and the British no1 greeted his opening break with a leaping fist.

It was comically premature but also totally understandable on the biggest day of the 26-year-old’s career.

Djokovic didn’t react in the same way as he immediately retrieved the break but the top seed failed to sit, his normally watertight groundstrokes flying long or into the net.

Norrie was unflappable throughout that run, embracing his suddenly elevated profile rather than feeling intimidated by home pressure and he certainly rose to the occasion on the biggest stage of them all.

He made sure to exploit Djokovic’s nerves, using his unusually flat, two-handed backhand to rush his opponent while landing several punches with his heavy forehand.

The crowd was in disbelief as Norrie won five straight games to win the first set, but the early signs in the second were that Djokovic had stabilized.

The pressure mounted as Norrie secured break points in games four and six and a volley missed at 3-4 from the top right at the net was the passing error Djokovic needed to seize the initiative.

Unlike Jannik Sinner, who held Djokovic by two sets in the quarter-finals, Norrie does not possess a major weapon and with the defending champion now purring from the baseline it has been difficult for the British no. 1 to find a spark of light.

He was pushed well past the baseline and the kind of mistakes he just couldn’t afford crept in.

Another break of serve early in the fourth set brought Djokovic a step closer and although Norrie fought manfully to stay in touch and received huge applause as he saved four break points in game five, the Serb’s serve kept him out of reach .

After a final non-refundable serve at match point, Djokovic turned to a group of spectators who shouted and released with a verbal volley, drawing a chorus of boos before celebrating reaching an eighth Wimbledon final.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/tennis/novak-djokovic-beats-britains-cameron-norrie-to-set-up-wimbledon-final-date-with-nick-kyrgios-41825777.html Novak Djokovic beats Britain’s Cameron Norrie to settle Wimbledon final with Nick Kyrgios

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