Cameron Norrie is the first British man since Wimbledon’s greatest hero, Andy Murray, to make the last eight at the championships – and he did it without a hint of the Scot’s old flair for drama.
Murray, who has always kept Wimbledon in suspense with his heart-pounding triumphs, was the last home quarter-finalist five years ago.
But Norrie had no time for pompous action as he took control against American Tommy Paul early in their arm wrestle at No. 1 Court with his trusted brutally accurate but unspectacular fare before going home 6-4 7-5 6-4 on Sundays.
It marked a major breakthrough for the southpaw, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 10 this year but has now gone way past his previous record in a grand slam, the third round he’d reached five times. in the past two years.
It was also a blessed relief for the home crowd, who had been let down when Heather Watson, the last home player left in the women’s draw, was eliminated from center court earlier on Sunday.
After successfully knocking out 30th-seeded Paul, Norrie will appreciate his chances for a semi-final spot as he then faces unseeded Belgian David Goffin, who previously defeated US 23rd-seeded Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (7-3) 5- 7 5-7 6-4 7-5.
“It’s so special to make the quarters for the first time, in front of my family and friends here from college,” Norrie said in court to cheers.
“In a big game it was really good to play like I did. To perform everything. I really enjoyed it. It’s pretty crazy, I have a lot of feelings.”
Ironically, Paul had used Norrie as his practice partner to prepare for his three previous left-handed opponents.
But he probably wasn’t expecting the quality of forehand strike the cosmopolitan Briton demonstrated with his 26 winners.