‘I’m the last one standing’: Norrie happy to carry British hopes at Wimbledon

Cameron Norrie says he will gladly take all of the pressure and expectations that come with being the British No 1 as he continues his breakthrough grand slam run at Wimbledon.

Norrie, the ninth seed, reached a grand slam quarter-final for the first time in his career at Wimbledon by defeating the 30th seed Tommy Paul 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 on a packed No 1 Court.

“I’ll take it,” he said. “At the beginning of the tournament, you guys were asking me: ‘You’re British No 1, you got a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations on your shoulders.’ For me to play the way that I did in all my matches so far means a lot. Unfortunately, I’m the last one standing. But I think it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me.”

After a breakout 18 months in his career, rising from 74th at the beginning of 2021 to a career-high ranking of 10th in April, Norrie had been searching for his first run to the second week of a grand slam. This new achievement is a significant moment in his career. Norrie, 26, says he wants to use his platform to help young British players beneath him.

“If I can help any of the younger guys, there’s a big group of guys coming through with a lot of talent, a lot of chances to make it inside the top hundred. If I can be that guy to lead them on and to show they can do it … I went to college, I can show them a good path, if you can stay professional and make good decisions. Managed to make the quarters of a slam doing that. I was really pleased with myself.”

Having won at Indian Wells last October, the biggest event on the tour outside the grand slam tournaments, major success at the biggest events was naturally his next goal. Norrie said he will continue to focus only on one match at a time, although an enormous opportunity awaits as he next faces David Goffin, the world No 58. Goffin, a former top‑10 player who is rounding into form again, defeated Frances Tiafoe in a dramatic five-set match.

“I’m taking it one match at a time,” Norrie said. “It’s great to be through to the quarters. But no reason to be satisfied. I want to keep pushing. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the next match. Another challenge. Very experienced player. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the next challenge. Still a long way to go, but pretty nice to get over and tick the box making the quarters.”

source: theguardian.com