Wimbledon: Cameron Norrie says Novak Djokovic semi-final ‘one of tougher tasks in tennis’

Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July
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Britain’s Cameron Norrie says facing six-time champion Novak Djokovic in Friday’s Wimbledon semi-final is “one of the tougher tasks in tennis”.

The 26-year-old had never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam before this year’s championships.

Conversely, 35-year-old Djokovic has claimed 20 major titles and is seeking a fourth successive Wimbledon crown.

“It’s going to be a tough one with his record here at Wimbledon,” Norrie told the BBC.

“Obviously, grass is his favourite surface. I would say [it’s] one of the tougher tasks in tennis.”

Top seed Djokovic and ninth seed Norrie are due on Centre Court not before 14:30 BST, with the winner facing Nick Kyrgios on Sunday after Rafael Nadal withdrew injured from the other semi-final.

Increased attention ‘a lot to take in’

Norrie is just the fourth British man – following Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Roger Taylor – to reach the Wimbledon singles semi-finals in the Open era.

It is his biggest breakthrough at a major having risen up the world rankings in recent years and claimed his greatest tour title at Indian Wells in 2021.

The world number 12 says he is as ready as he can be for the increased attention that comes with being a British player in the latter stages of Wimbledon.

“I don’t think you can prepare for stuff like this,” he added.

Norrie has cycled to Wimbledon from his flat in west London during the tournament and said he is “getting a couple of looks” on his bike.

“It’s not sunk in yet,” he continued. “Obviously, there’s a lot of hype and people following all around the world.

“It’s a lot to take in right now but I’m going to have to try and bring it down again and go back to basics. I’ve got to get ready for the biggest match of my career.”

Norrie ‘will have to learn’ from past defeat

Novak Djokovic and Cameron Norrie shake hands at the net
Cameron Norrie was 12 when Novak Djokovic won his first Grand Slam title in 2008

Norrie has faced Djokovic – who has not been defeated at Wimbledon since 2017 – once before, losing 6-2 6-1 at the 2021 ATP Finals in Turin.

The Briton says he “went in with the wrong tactics” in that match and “will have to learn from those”.

Norrie explained he “lost concentration a couple of times” in his five-set quarter-final victory against David Goffin, adding: “I won’t be able to do that with Novak. I’ll have to raise my game.”

Born in Johannesburg, Norrie moved to Auckland as a child and went to university in Texas but has since made his home in London.

His mother Helen is Welsh and his father David is Scottish, with both still living in New Zealand.

Having missed some of Norrie’s matches in the past as he travelled around the world, the pair have been following their son since May.

“I’m glad they picked this one to come to,” he said. “They timed it right.”

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