September 25, 2022

Venue: All England Club Appointment: June 27-July 10
Cover: Live on BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, connected TVs and the mobile app.

Cameron Norrie has urged the British public to give him even more vocal support after he became the last home player left in the Wimbledon singles draw.

Norrie was backed by a cheering crowd on Court One as he beat American Tommy Paul 6-4 7-5 6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

“Unfortunately, I am the last [Briton] standing,” said the 26-year-old, who faces David Goffin in the quarter-finals.

“But I think that’s all the more reason for everyone to support me.”

British men’s number one Norrie produced another controlled and clinical display to win in his first Grand Slam third-round appearance.

In the last eight on Tuesday, Norrie will face unseeded Belgian Goffin, who beat 23rd seed Frances Tiafoe in a five-set long match on Sunday.

The 26-year-old southpaw is Britain’s last singles representative after losing to Heather Watson.

Britain’s number four Watson saw his hopes of also reaching a first Grand Slam quarter-final ended in a straight-set loss to unranked German Jule Niemeier.

But Norrie won later on the middle Sunday – the first time there had been a game scheduled on what was previously a rest day – to ensure home fans will have someone to cheer on as the Singles tournaments continue the second week.

The ninth seed is the first Briton to reach the quarter-finals in singles since Andy Murray in 2017 and the first British player since Johanna Konta in 2019.

Afterwards, Norrie thanked the home fans for helping him cross the line against 30th seed Paul.

“I think from the first round everyone has been behind me and supporting me,” he said.

“It shows in the difficult moments of the games – especially serving for the game there.

“There were a lot of things going through my head but I managed to stay calm and do it.”

Norrie reaps the rewards of maturity

Few would have predicted Norrie would become Britain’s leading prospect on the men’s tour – and even fewer should have thought he would become one of the top 10 players in the world.

Basically, Norrie himself believed he could do it and was ready to devote himself to making it happen.

Now, having unlocked new achievements on the ATP Tour in terms of titles and rankings, the hard work of the past few years is bearing its reward on the biggest stage of all.

“It’s a shock to reach the quarter-finals for the first time,” he said.

“To play a game like that, a big game for both of us, to play like I did, it was really good. I really enjoyed it.”

Norrie lacks the box office appeal of Murray, one of his recent predecessors as UK number one.

But his cool, low-key demeanor is one of his greatest strengths, allowing him to focus entirely on improving on the pitch.

“I improved a lot and matured on the pitch and continued to improve with my team,” he said afterwards.

“I’ve definitely improved mentally over the years and I’m a lot more mature as a player, and I think it shows.”

Norrie (right) and Paul, who shared a warm handshake and a hug at the net, are good friends off the pitch and have been regular training partners at the All England Club over the past week

A relentless drive is the foundation of his success, backed by baseline strength and developing a vicious forehand that can dictate points.

That forehand turned out to be one of the keys for him in an engaging battle with Paul.

The southpaw earned his first point with a forehand winner down the line and continued to break in the opener, never trailing after that.

The single break was enough to claim the first set. In the second he needed two, failing to serve at 5-4 but breaking again to win 7-5, to put him one set clear of the last eight.

After Norrie earned another break for a 2-1 lead in the third set, he produced a succession of controlled service games to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the 19th attempt.

The home crowd on Court One erupted in delight as Paul hit a wide return, with Norrie showing more emotion than usual as he leaped onto the grass and punched the air twice.

“I stayed patient with myself and embraced the grass surface – it’s probably not my favorite surface, but it gives me a lot of confidence,” added Norrie.

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