Cameron Norrie’s Wimbledon only got dreamier after his five-set slugfest against Belgian David Goffin. Nervy early doors, the ninth-seed twice battled back from being a set down to edge a quarter-final classic 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. The experienced Goffin was in the groove from the get-go. Moving fluidly across the court, he let loose some trademark returns that stretched Norrie from side to side. But the Briton thrives under adversity! Willing himself on while orchestrating the crowd, Norrie scripted a dramatic turnaround.
By the final set, the atmosphere inside Court One was feverish. Goffin, for his part, had kept all distractions at bay. Dipping into his vast reserves of experience, the unseeded Belgian had the measure of Norrie and the partisan crowd for long periods. However, the fifth set proved a task too far. As Norrie- egged on by a rabble of 10000- began to peak, Goffin wilted deep into the decider. Locked at 5-5, the Briton broke to love to rush ahead. He would close out the match with a nervy hold of his own.
The Johannesburg-born Briton- who’s been around the world a fair bit- has steadily won over the locals. The last British hope, Norrie rallied the home faithful before the quarters. What he got in response was the most raucous din. Court One was a picture of merry chaos, feeding their favourite with the required dose of support and cheer at all moments, not least when Norrie looked in the pits. The 26-year-old was rendered speechless by the support but did manage a few words in its aftermath:
“I have flashbacks of all the hard work and all the sacrifices I have had to make and it’s definitely paid off – and it feels pretty good,” quotes the Guardian.
“Wasn’t going my way from the beginning and wasn’t feeling good and feeling the ball,” Norrie said. “That was all credit to David. He was moving me, playing really good, and I couldn’t find my game. I managed to stay as patient as I could. It was all adrenalin. Used my legs at the end and tried to put the ball in the court,” he would add.
As Norriemania reaches fever pitch ahead of his semi against top-seed Novak Djokovic, tennis fans are petitioning to rename the iconic hill outside the show courts to Norrie Knoll. Previously known as Henman Hill and Murray Mound, the tradition of renaming the hill to align with the latest Brit hope continues. Honest to the core, Norrie admitted to not knowing what a knoll is, but “I’ll take it,” he says nonetheless.