TENNIS

Cameron Norrie beats David Goffin to reach Wimbledon semis

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Venue: All England Club Appointment: June 27-July 10
Cover: Live on BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Smart TVs and the mobile app.

Britain’s Cameron Norrie reached the Wimbledon semi-finals as he fought back to beat David Goffin in a memorable five-set thriller that left home fans celebrating with glee.

Ninth-seeded Norrie, 26, fought back to secure a 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5 win over unseeded Belgian Goffin.

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As his name was chanted around Court One, he was overwhelmed with emotion.

Norrie will now play in his first Grand Slam semi-final, meeting defending champion Novak Djokovic on Friday.

Asked about his reaction after beating Goffin, Norrie replied, “Honestly? Speechless. I can’t even speak.”

The British men’s number one, known for his laid-back attitude, showed an unusual spark of emotion during his on-court interview.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among nearly 11,000 fans who watched the world number 12 absorb the best moment of his career.

Norrie added: “I think winning a game like this, I’m in shock. I don’t know what to say now.

“I have flashbacks of all the hard work and sacrifice I had to make and it really paid off – and it feels good.”

Norrie is the first Briton to reach the Wimbledon singles semi-finals since Andy Murray in 2016 and the first British player since Johanna Konta in 2017.

Next, he will face top seed Djokovic, who is aiming for a fourth consecutive title and seventh overall at the All England Club.

The 35-year-old Serbian was scared off by Italian Jannik Sinner before battling to win in five sets earlier on Tuesday.

“It’s great to have that now, but it’s only going to get harder,” Norrie told the Wimbledon crowd.

“I’ll take it to Novak and hope you can follow me and I’m sure you will.”

Norrie keeps his cool in a tense atmosphere

As the highest-ranked Briton in the singles draws, Norrie might have been the last remaining home player, but he broke new ground by reaching the quarter-finals.

Now he has gone a step further.

The left-hander had never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam tournament, despite some great years that saw him reach the top 10 in the world.

Reserved and low-key, Norrie does not receive – or seek – the same level of attention that Murray has received throughout his career.

But he found himself in the spotlight, saying he “enjoyed and embraced” being the leading home prospect at Wimbledon.

This was evident in a confident fourth-round performance against Tommy Paul, but lacked in the early stages against an inspired Goffin.

Still, he refused to get too downhearted and fought back to turn a moving match into a decider.

In front of a cheering crowd now including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were earlier on center court and headed out after Djokovic’s victory, Norrie kept his cool in an increasingly tense situation.

Former world number seven Goffin had served well in the decider until he was broken in love for 6-5 and, remarkably, it was the first time in the match where Norrie was leading.

He saw a first match point disappear when Goffin beat a winner, but seized his second opportunity to become just the fourth Briton – after Murray, Tim Henman and Roger Taylor – to reach the Wimbledon singles semi-finals at the Open era.

How multicultural travel thrives in London

Norrie’s journey began in Johannesburg and, after moving to Auckland as a child and then studying in Texas, has since made London his home.

With a Welsh mother and Scottish father, he was always destined to represent the nation despite maintaining a hint of a New Zealand accent.

His parents, microbiologists David and Helen, were a driving force in his life and watched with pride as he shared the finest moment of his All England Club career.

The couple still live in New Zealand and have missed much of their recent rise in the flesh due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But they have been following their son in European clay and grass tournaments since flying to Rome in May.

His sister Bronwyn, who lives in London, was also among his relatives watching on the court, along with his former landlady, Linda, and friends from his university years in the United States.

After sealing the win over Goffin, Norrie headed to her box where mum Helen and girlfriend Louise were both overwhelmed in the moment.

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