Brits finally take Norrie into their hearts

Norrie hill? Cam cliff?

It won’t be easy for the British media to come up with a new alliterative name for Wimbledon’s Aorangi Terrace, the tower opposite the big screen formerly known as Henman Hill, and then Murray Mound, as a compliment to their new hero Cameron Norrie. .

But the 26-year-old’s journey to the heart of British tennis was not an easy one.

He has a Scottish father and a Welsh mother, but was born in South Africa, grew up in New Zealand and attended university in America.

While in Texas, he got off a moped while very drunk, risking his career but learning from the incident to clean up his act and focus on his professionalism.

Returning to Britain, he’s gradually moved up the rankings, but with Andy Murray soaking up so much emotional bandwidth – and competition from more ‘indigenous’ Brits like Emma Raducanu, Dan Evans and new kid Jack Draper, it’s taken time to fully mature. are accepted.

There was no doubt, however, as he battled David Goffin on Tuesday to win 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5 in a grueling three hours and 28 minutes that the No. 1 Court kept him from. †

Hell, he even first persuaded Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and then husband William, to leave the Center Court Royal Box for a seat in the stands next to Tim Henman.

Norrie is only the fourth British player after Murray, Henman and, nearly half a century ago, Roger Taylor, to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals in the open era.

“I am speechless,” he said. “So glad I passed.

Addressing the raucous crowd, he said: “In the beginning it didn’t go the way I wanted, I couldn’t find my game. Thanks to you I managed to stay as patient as possible.

“It was all just adrenaline; use my legs and try to get the ball in the lane. It was great to cross the line.”

When the chants of “Norrie, Norrie, Norrie, Oi, Oi, Oi” died down, he added, “I” had flashbacks of all the hard work, all the preseasons, all the sacrifices I’ve had to make. pays off and it feels pretty good.”

Novak Djokovic stands between Norrie and the chance to join Murray as the only British men’s finalists since Fred Perry and Bunny Austin in the 1930s.

“It’s great to get this far, but it’s only going to get harder,” he said of Thursday’s game. “I’m going out to take it to him and hopefully you’ll be behind me again. I’m looking forward to it.”

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