Novak Djokovic came from two sets down to reach the Wimbledon semifinals, his opponent is Cameron Norrie, who has made his best ever showing in a slam, and it’s in his home slam of Wimbledon. British hopes are all on the shoulders of the 26-year-old Norrie, while Djokovic looks to stave off the upset. We have predictions for this match, and the Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios semifinal.
Novak Djokovic vs Cameron Norrie
Andrew Watson: Unfortunately for Norrie he is almost like a Djokovic-lite. Super fit, maybe fitter than Djokovic, but with no big weapons by which to penetrate the best defences in tennis. There will probably be a lot of long rallies and Norrie will win a share of them but when it comes to the crunch Djokovic has the experience, the extra gears and a greater variation of tactics to use. He’s simply the better player. Djokovic in 3
Jack Edward: Cam Norrie is a solid player. Floating about the outskirts of the top-10, Norrie deserves to be in the position he’s in finally making it past the third-round of a Grand Slam at the major he likely holds dearest.
Solid won’t be enough though. Harken back to last year when Denis Shapovalov made his first Grand Slam semifinal. The Canadian was playing fine tennis – arguably playing tennis more likely to disrupt Novak Djokovic’s rhythm than Cam Norrie. Shapovalov fell to Djokovic in straight sets. Three tight sets but straight sets nonetheless. Norrie is hitting his forehand nicely but he’s not used to red-lining it and quite frankly that would be required to make a dent in the impenetrable “26-match Wimbledon win-streak” armour of Novak Djokovic. It’s been a good run but Djokovic is here to do what he does best. Djokovic in 3
Damian Kust: The match between Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner showed us again how tough it is to beat one of the Big 3 in the best-of-five format. Does Cameron Norrie stand a chance? Probably not as the Brit’s game just isn’t that explosive. He’s got an excellent understanding of his limitations and what he can and what he can’t do on-court, but even the incredible fitness and stamina won’t really be that helpful in this sort of a matchup. Norrie was blown off the court in their only previous meeting to date and it’s hard to expect anything else here, other than a little tighter scoreline. Djokovic in 3
Glenys Furness: Djokovic has not had everything his own way in SW19. The Serbian had to battle from two sets down against Italian Sinner to even make the semifinal. In both the first and fourth rounds the top seed dropped a set in each before ultimately progressing through. Brit Cameron Norrie is in his first Grand slam semifinal, and for Brits it’s the big one. Norrie has been under the radar, as attention originally fell on Murray then Evans, plus the “newbies” with wildcards Peniston & Gray. Frequent tennis followers know Norrie, so his performance here is not really a surprise. The Brit also had two five set matches, the second round and the quarter final. Norrie will have the crowd on his side (Brit, Wimbledon – of course they will), however Djokovic has the experience and elasticity to reach the final. Djokovic in 4
Jakub Bobro: After making his way through the draw in a solid manner, dropping sets in just one match heading into the quarterfinals, Norrie was pushed to his very limit by David Goffin. The Brit was far from his best early on but the crowd helped him grow into the match over time and take it 7-5 in the fifth. Djokovic got a bit of a scare from Jannik Sinner as the Italian went two sets up but injured his ankle in a slip. Sinner played out the match but looked pretty much toothless for the rest of it. Norrie is very fit so Djokovic won’t be able to wear him down but the Brit has essentially no weapons to hurt the Serb. The crowd might make this match a bit frisky but it would take a near-miracle for Djokovic to lose here. Djokovic in 4
Steen Kirby: Norrie managed just three games when he faced Djokovic in last year’s ATP World Tour Finals. He will be aiming to do much better in his first ever Grand Slam semifinal, and it’s taking place at his home slam of Wimbledon. Norrie has had a consistent two weeks, he looked comfortable in most of his matches other than the five setters against Jaume Munar and the veteran battler David Goffin, he eventually overcame Goffin in the Quarterfinals and got to bask in the late afternoon sun and savour the moment, even with Djokovic looming.
Djokovic looked awful against Jannik Sinner for the first two sets of the quarterfinals before something clicked and he blitzed Sinner in the last three sets dropping just seven games. Djokovic hasn’t been 100% this year and has looked listless at times, but when his game is even close to its best he’s still one of the toughest players in tennis to defeat, as the in-form grass court player Tim van Rijthoven discovered in the round of 16, where Djokovic countered his serve expertly when it mattered. Norrie is a great player but I don’t think he has the weapons to defeat Djokovic at this time, the best he can hope for is capitalize on Djokovic’s moments of mortality to try to stretch the match out and perhaps win a tiebreak or two. I’ll spot Norrie a set but winning three of them looks like a steep task. Djokovic in 4