Norrie fought back from two sets to one down
Brit will play his first Grand Slam semi-final on Friday against defending champion Novak Djokovic
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the spectators on Court 1
Norrie was almost speechless at the end of his three-and-a-half-hour epic against David Goffin, struggling to spit out a full sentence during his on-court interview with Rishi Persad.
His primary emotion wasn’t triumph, for he is anything but a grandstander. Rather, he seemed humbled by the full-throated support he had received from the fans on No 1 Court, who – in the latter stages of the match – were supplemented by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Without that support, it seems entirely plausible – likely even – that he would have lost. Norrie’s engine had been firing on all cylinders against Tommy Paul in Sunday’s fourth-round match, but it was coughing and spluttering as if someone had poured sugar in his petrol tank.
His forehand was a disaster area from the beginning. He keeps his rackets loosely strung, at around 42lbs, because of the trampoline effect created when the fibres stretch and then rebound. But a loose racket is harder to control. And for the first three sets, especially on his forehand side, Norrie’s timing was all over the place: less marching band, more broken wind-chime.
The pressure of expectation surely played a part. Over previous seasons, Norrie has traditionally had a choke in him. In seven of his last 10 majors, he has lost to lower-ranked opponents. And in Goffin, the world No 58, he was playing a man he knew he ought to beat.
But as Norrie matures, he has also begun to understand how to cope with off-days. The answer is to fall back on his legs and his lungs, where his greatest gifts lie. Best-of-five-set tennis could have been made for a man who covers 10,000m in under 37 minutes.
Having got off to a terrible start, Norrie was lucky to steal the second set, which found both men struggling to find the court at times. He was competing brilliantly, despite playing like a drain. The important thing was to stay in touch. And then, when the match moved past the hour-and-a-half mark, he switched on his reserve energy pack.
Now the scrambling and the scampering began to pay dividends. Norrie dialled back his ambition a little and focused on cutting down the freebies. Having lost one in three service games until that point – an alarmingly high percentage – he wouldn’t be broken at all in either the fourth or the deciding set.
This was far from being a classic, as we can see from the fact that both men struck 46 unforced errors – or one per game. Yet it did at least have an interesting dynamic, because of the contrast of styles. Norrie is an athletic left-handed scrapper whereas Goffin is much more of a stylist.
With his lavish hair and close-cropped beard, Norrie looks both rugged and dogged: a golden retriever in human form. Whereas Goffin appears fragile and curiously boyish by comparison. Standing just 5ft 11in, and weighing 11st, he resembles Harry Potter in whites.
That comparison extends to Goffin’s magical hands. Delicate touch, fast feet, a quick mind – he has all the attributes to win big titles apart from the extra height and strength that would allow him to blow opponents off the court. Skilful yet underpowered players like Goffin often find it difficult to close out matches, because they don’t have that one big weapon to fall back on.
Against Norrie, he began in fine fettle, skipping into the court and directing play like a conductor. But he has always betrayed a trace of self-doubt in these significant matches, especially at the death. This was his fourth major quarter-final, and his fourth defeat.
Perhaps Goffin’s previous match – a 4hr 36min struggle with Frances Tiafoe – had left him feeling a little jaded. But he was upbeat in his post-match press conference, describing his run here as far better than he could have expected, and crediting the crowd for their sportsmanship.
Norrie agreed with that assessment once he had been through his post-match routine. “The crowd definitely got me through that,” he said. “I was super fortunate to come through.”
Asked about his struggles in the on-court interview, Norrie said: “All the sacrifices and everything all hit me at once. The support here at Wimbledon, from my family and my friends, I didn’t know what to say. I got emotional there and it was just a crazy match to get through, especially after the way I started.”
And now for the world No 1, Novak Djokovic. For what it’s worth, Goffin gave his take on Norrie’s semi-final chances. “If he’s playing the tennis of his life maybe, and Novak is not feeling well, we never know. But Novak is Novak.
“He’s playing even better when the crowd is against him. Novak is just an alien, and to beat an alien, I don’t know how to do it.”
Cameron Norrie vs David Goffin, as it happened:
What a day
It has been a dramatic day, full of ups and down, twists and turns but at the end of it we have British representation in the men's singles semi-final on Friday.
Recap Norrie's five-set battle below!
Who will Norrie face next?
None other than defending champion Novak Djokovic, who came through his own five set battle earlier today on Centre Court.
You can read Kate Rowan's match report here.
Elsewhere, emotions were also high on Centre Court for Ons Jabeur
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2022
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went through the emotions in Norrie's match
Henman Hill is now called Norrie Knoll
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2022
More from Norrie
It wasn't going my way from the beginning. All credit to David, he was moving me and playing really good, but thanks to you guys I managed to stay as patient as I could.
It was all just adrenaline, using my legs and trying to put the ball in the court, and it's great to get over the line.
I'm honestly speechless. I can't even talk. I'm so happy to get through with such a great team, such a great family and friends here.
Reaction from social media
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 5, 2022
The wait is over. Britain has a new leader we can all unite behind…it’s Cameron Norrie 🎾 (what a fightback that was)
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) July 5, 2022
What a win for Cam Norrie!
Totally usurped by goings on at Number 10 but he did a great job at Number 1#Wimbledon
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) July 5, 2022
The winning moment for Cameron Norrie
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2022
What a moment
The crowd are chanting: "Norrie, Norrie, Norrie" Norrie's girlfriend and mum are in tears in the stands.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Long, tense rally and Goffin nets a backhand, 15-0. Goffin forehand into the net, 30-0.
Wild forehand by Norries flies out, groans from the crowd, 30-15. More groans from the crowd after Norrie nets a forehand.
Fifth ace of the match for Norrie, what a time for it, MATCH POINT. Goffin forehand winner down the line.
Goffin forehand wide, SECOND MATCH POINT.
GAME SET MATCH NORRIE! Goffin backhand into the net.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-5 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Great anticipation from Norrie to ready Goffin's forehand up the line and the Belgian misses, 0-30.
Goffin backhand long, three break points. Goffin forehand long and NORRIE BREAKS!
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 5-5 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Pressure? What pressure? Norrie hits his fourth ace of the match to move to 40-0.
Goffin hangs in the game when he forces a forehand error from Norrie. But Norrie does hold serve when Goffin's backhand drops into the tramlines.
On we go...
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 4-5 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Wild returning game from Norrie and that allows Goffin to hold comfortably.
Big pressure on Norrie now. Lose the next game and loses the match.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 4-4 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Norrie looked poised for an easy hold after racing to 40-30. But back-to-back errors mean he's pegged back to 40-30.
Norrie does get over the line with a simple volley winner after pushing Goffin wide.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 3-4 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Goffin goes for it up the line with his backhand, the ball is called out and Hawkeye says it caught the line. Point goes to Goffin.
Goffin ace, 40-15. Incredible shot making by both players but Goffin just about holds when Norrie nets a backhand on the stretch.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 3-3 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Probably Norrie's fastest service game of the match as he holds to love as well. He's winning 72 per cent points on his first serve.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 2-3 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Big serve, even bigger forehand into the corner and a cleanly hit overhead sees Goffin hold onto his serve again.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 2-2 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Norrie steps up to the pressure by confidently finding his first serve and seeing out the game.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge look happy. Have they heard the news about the Government?
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 2-1 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Routine service hold to love by Goffin. Scoreboard pressure is on Norrie because Goffin served first.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 1-1 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Excellent angled backhand return by Goffin and Norrie nets a sliced forehand.
Stand and deliver, Goffin gets a second serve from Norrie and smacks a forehand winner down the line, break point. Norrie digs in and Goffin blinks first by netting a forehand.
A critical hold by Norrie is complete when Goffin drags a forehand wide.
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) July 5, 2022
Fifth Set: Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 0-1 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Goffin whips a forehand into the tramlines, 15-30. But he responds with another forehand up the line that Norrie can't get back in play, 30-30.
Good, attacking tennis by Goffin, 40-30. Norrie tries another soft touch drop shot but gets it wrong and nets.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Ideal service game for Norrie as he races to 40-0 swiftly. Norrie double fault followed by a backhand into the net, 40-30. One set point left.
And he gets it done with a big serve down the T which Goffin doesn't return.
Game on, on Court 1!
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 5-3 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Norrie forehand return winner down the line, 30-30. Important point coming up.
Goffin nets a tame forehand, break point. Norrie goes for it on another forehand return. The ball is called out, Norrie challenges but Hawkeye confirms the ball was out.
Goffin ace to hold, so he thinks. Norrie challenges and the ball is out. Second serve for Goffin coming up. Goffin forehand goes long, he challenges and the call stands.
Incredibly speed by Norrie to reach a Goffin drop shot and he flicks an angled winner beyond Goffin, break point.
Goffin forehand into the net, NORRIE BREAKS!
The Duchess of Cambridge has now joined us on Court 1.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 4-3 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Delicate drop shot by Norrie beats Goffin's desperate efforts, 40-15. Norrie holds to keep himself ahead when Goffin places a forehand long.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-3 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Goffin forehand down the line winner. Norrie responds with a backhand down the line winner, 30-30.
Goffin forehand down the line is just long, break point. Goffin overhead winner, deuce.
Goffin holds once more when Norrie's defensive backhand goes long.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-2 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Big point! Norrie goes down the line with his backhand and Goffin just misses with his cross court backhand, 30-30.
Goffin backhand sails beyond the baseline, 40-30. Norrie completes a vital hold when Goffin misses his return.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 2-2 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Goffin dumps a tame backhand into the net, 15-15. Good point by both men and Goffin nets another backhand, 15-30.
Norrie puts Goffin under pressure with his forehand and draws the error, deuce. And Goffin comes through another service game.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 2-1 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Another difficult service game for Norrie but he holds with back-to-back forehand winners up the line.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 1-1 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Umpteenth forehand error by Norrie allows Goffin to comfortably move to 40-0. But a backhand into the net costs him the game.
36 unforced errors by Norrie to this point. That is bad.
Fourth Set: Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Norrie's five set record reads: three wins, four losses.
He will need a final set if he wants to win this match now. He left the court prior to this set, presumably for a comfort break and change of clothes. Will there be a change of fortunes?
He holds here to 30 and pumps his fist. We've just gone past the two hour mark.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-6 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Norrie backhand return long gives Goffin two set points. Norrie backhand error and Goffin takes the set.
11 unforced errors for Norrie, it felt like a lot more.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 2-5 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Just when you thought Norrie was mounting a comeback he is broken to 30 when he places a forehand down the line well long.
Terrible service game!
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 2-4 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Better from Norrie as he rifles a forehand winner down the line, 30-30. Excellent drop shot by Norrie and Goffin nets his attempted forehand down the line, deuce.
And breaks when Goffin misses a forehand. The Briton is still in this set.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 1-4 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Hello there, I've dashed from Centre Court to Court 1 to see the last Brit standing in Wimbledon.
And Norrie holds to love to get on the scoreboard.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 0-4 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Another Goffin service game and yet another easy hold (written that a fair bit today...) as he holds to 15.
I will now pass you over to Mr Tennis himself Uche Amako who will take you through to the close of this match.
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 0-3 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Norrie is AGAIN under pressure on his serve - that's a bit of an understatement as he's staring at a double break as Goffin has three break points. He only needs one of them and in the blink of an eye the momentum is well and truly with the Belgian.
Norrie is searching for winners and giving Goffin too many free points. The Briton is usually tough to beat but, so far, that's not the case today.
Norrie* 3-6, 7-5, 0-2 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Another Goffin service game and another comfortable hold - that break by Norrie towards the end of the second set does seem to be somewhat of an anomaly...
Norrie 3-6, 7-5, 0-1 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
From the sublime to the sloppy - having worked so hard to win the second set Norrie is immediately under pressure in the first game of the third. Goffin has two break points. He only needs one of them as the latest Norrie errors gifts the Belgian the game.
Norrie wins second set! Norrie 3-6, 7-5 Goffin
Norrie puts the Belgian under pressure with the score at 15-30. Can he put the squeeze on his opponent? The initial signs are good as a blistering backhand sets up the forehand winner. He has two set points and only needs one of them.
That was a great turnaround from the Briton - gutsy more than great, but that doesn't matter. The momentum is with him now, and that's not something I expected to write 15 minutes ago.
Norrie 3-6, 6-5 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Much better from Norrie as he holds to love - a rarity for the Briton this match - that was the service game he needs, holding without any fuss.
Goffin again serving to stay in the set.
Norrie* 3-6, 5-5 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Goffin re-establishes his superiority on serve to hold with ease - not for the first time this match.
Norrie 3-6 5-4 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Norrie is once again under pressure on his serve - at deuce the Briton shows the fight he's known for to hold.
Goffin is now serving to stay in the set.
Norrie* 3-6 4-4 Goffin (*denotes next server)
This is a turn up for the books - from nowhere, having held serve with ease so far, Goffin faces two break points.
He saves one thanks to some great play at the net, before Norrie breaks for the first time the very next point.
Norrie 3-6 3-4 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Another Norrie game and again he's down 0-40.
This time he cannot pull the rabbit out of the proverbial hat and Goffin breaks. The Belgian is on top of his game and Norrie is way below his best - that sums up the match so far...
Norrie* 3-6 3-3 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Goffin holds to love.
The Belgian isn't under pressure on his serve while Norrie is grappling to hold on his. You suspect that may tell sooner rather than later.
Norrie 3-6 3-2 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Again too many errors are leaking into Norrie's game - he's 0-40 on serve and staring at a second break of the match.
He saves the first two break points well before saving the third coming into the net and getting it to deuce with a clinical volley.
Norrie earns a service point before the rally of the match - 28 shots that finish with a cute volley at the net from Goffin.
From there Norrie holds - another HUGE hold from the Briton. Some holds feel better than others and that game is definitely Exhibit A in that debate.
Norrie* 3-6 2-2 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Another good service game from Goffin as he holds to 30. The Belgian's forehand has been impressive today and he's using his weapon well so far today.
Norrie 3-6 2-1 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
A solid hold from Norrie. That's more like it from the home hope.
Norrie* 3-6 1-1 Goffin (*denotes next server)
This pair are trading blows from the back of the court and it's Goffin who's the sharper of the two as he shows off his impressive forehand to come out on top of yet another long rally. He holds again.
Goffin has started well
Norrie 3-6 1-0 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Goffin is looking in both charge of his game and this match - he puts Norrie under immediate pressure in the second set with the home hope 15-30 down. Off a second serve Norrie gets it to 30-30, and then follows that up with a good first serve that Goffin does well to get a racquet on.
The Belgian, though, again manoeuvres Norrie around the court to get to deuce. At this point Norrie pulls out the first ace of the match - not a bad time to pull that rabbit out the hat. But then two loose forehands gives Goffin the chance of an early break in this second set.
Can he grab the opportunity?
The answer is 'no' as Goffin, at the end of a long, high-class rally, just goes wide with a forehand down the line.
Norrie holds from there. That was a huge hold.
Meanwhile, someone should tell Goffin he has challenges available as he's not bothered to challenge three points so far, the latest of which comes in this game.
Goffin takes the first set: Norrie 3-6 Goffin
Goffin serves for the first set and makes no mistake holding to 15.
He's been brisk and efficient so far and Norrie is up against it.
Norrie 3-5 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Goffin is clearly better than his current ranking of 58 as a forehand winner down the line makes it 0-30.
Norrie, though, fights back well and wins the next four points on the bounce to hold well.
Norrie* 2-5 Goffin (*denotes next server)
Goffin is well on top in this first set as he holds with ease.
The length of Norrie's groundstrokes is poor and he's giving the Belgian too many half-court balls to attack.
Norrie 2-4 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Goffin's backhand is working well so far - by contrast Norrie's isn't. One backhand exchange sees the Belgian come out on top to get to 30-15. That's soon 40-30 and there's a hint of tightness in the game of the home hope as a wide forehand makes it deuce.
Another forehand error gifts Goffin a break point - there have already been more errors from Norrie than you'd expect at this point. Yet another wide forehand - successfully challenged by the Belgian - gives the game to Goffin.
There's a long way to go but Norrie needs to settle down and get some composure.
Norrie* 2-3 Goffin (*denotes next server)
It's the Belgian's turn to dominate on serve as he holds to love.
It's clear that Norrie will have to fight and dig deep to beat Goffin.
Norrie 2-2 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Another good service game from Norrie as the Briton holds with ease.
Norrie* 1-2 Goffin (*denotes next server)
A bit of a scrappy game with a few unforced errors is lit up with a fine forehand winner down the line from Norrie at the end of a punishing rally.
That gets him to deuce and Goffin is under pressure on his serve. The Belgian, however, is a canny, experienced customer and holds well winning the game with a brilliant point at the net having moved the home hope around the court.
Norrie 1-1 Goffin* (*denotes next server)
Norrie is nothing if not a battler - he works several great angles during the several long rallies in this game and holds his opening service game to love, winning the final point with a fine crosscourt backhand winner.
Not a bad way to start.
Norrie* 0-1 Goffin (*denotes next server)
It was expected to be a match of long rallies and we've already had three in the first game. Goffin, though, serves well and takes the opener to 30.
Goffin to serve first
The match is under way.
He may not be that well known in the UK
Well, at least compared to Murray and Raducanu...but Norrie is a fighter and with his brilliant win in Indian Wells last October proved himself to belong among the elite.
Here's what our very own Simon Briggs expects
#Wimbledon Day 9⃣
Excitement is ramping up ahead of Cameron Norrie's quarter final against David Goffin
Our tennis correspondent @simonrbriggs on what we can expect from the match⬇️ pic.twitter.com/qZOmql0fEz
— Telegraph Sport (@TelegraphSport) July 5, 2022
So Norrie will be on court
In a few minutes, he's currently making his way from the practice courts to Court One.
Tatjana Maria has done it!
Ranked at 103 in the world rankings the German has beaten Julia Niemeier 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and is into the semi-finals.
Before today the furthest the 34-year-old Mum of two had been in a Grand Slam was a third round.
This is one of the stories of this tournament.
Julia Niemeier is serving to stay in the match
Against Tatjana Maria - it's 6-5 in the final set on Court 1 and both players are serving up some great tennis.
A potential shock on Centre Court?
Novak Djokovic is currently a set and a break down to Jannik Sinner. You can follow the world No 1's bid to avoid the banana skin here...
This is one way to win a match...
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2022
Cameron Norrie out to make history
Coming into Wimbledon all the talk regarding home favourites revolved, understandably, around Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu. They hogged the headlines and the focus was squarely on them.
Cameron Norrie on the other hand, despite being world No 12, flew under the radar. But while the two Big Names have both fallen by the wayside it's the left-hander who now carries the hopes of a Wimbledon-obsessed nation on his shoulders.
The 26-year-old faces David Goffin on Court 1 today with a place in the last four up for grabs. Should he beat the Belgian he would become only the fourth British man to make the semis at the All England Club in the Open Era, joining Roger Taylor, Tim Henman and Murray.
And ready to make history Norrie has called for the home fans to cheer him all the way to the last four.
"Unfortunately I'm the last one standing. But I think it's even more reason for everyone to get behind me. The atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there," he said.
"Especially on that last game, I was obviously pretty nervous. I was serving for my first quarter-final of a Slam. I wanted to get it done there."
His opponent, Goffin, has been hampered by injuries but is a former top 10 player and who is no stranger to quarter finals of Grand Slams - this being his fourth. And Norrie, despite being the favourite, is taking nothing for granted.
"It's great to be through to the quarters. But no reason to be satisfied. I want to keep pushing," he said.
"I'm looking forward to the next match. Another challenge. Very experienced player. There's still a long way to go, but pretty nice to tick the box making the quarters.
"I feel like I'm improving and my level is getting better. Definitely a little bit more calm in the bigger matches. It's nice to do it that way round."
Stay here for all the action and to see whether Norrie can add his name to that illustrious British list.