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Wimbledon: Britain's Cameron Norrie secures first Grand Slam fourth round appearance


Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

British ninth seed Cameron Norrie joined compatriot Heather Watson in securing a first Grand Slam fourth-round appearance with a dominant win over American Steve Johnson.

Norrie comfortably beat world number 93 Johnson 6-4 6-1 6-0 on Centre Court.

He sealed victory in style as an ace closed out a faultless final set.

Norrie will next face another player from the United States, Tommy Paul, after the 30th seed beat Czech player Jiri Vesely 6-3 6-2 6-2.

World number 12 Norrie’s victory came just hours after Watson defeated Kaja Juvan to also reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam in singles for the first time.

“Today I was very, very relaxed,” said Norrie. “[It was] one of the bigger matches in my career obviously, to make the second week for the first time. I had a great opportunity today and I managed to play at the level that I wanted to.

“It’s a lot of fun being the British number one, playing on Centre Court, being in the spotlight, and playing to that level that I did today. I embraced it and really enjoyed it.”

Norrie breaks new ground on Centre Court

Norrie has remained inside the top 15 since first arriving there in October on the back of consistent tour performances.

And while that form has already seen him double his tally of ATP titles during 2022 – following triumphs at Lyon and Delray Beach – he has so far been unable to produce a deep run at a major.

Reaching the third round in five of his past seven Slams, he at last broke new ground on his fifth Wimbledon appearance, and 19th major overall, as he became the 12th British man to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon in the Open Era.

The left-hander was forced to fight back from two sets to one down against Spaniard Jaume Munar in the previous round, before displaying the necessary steel to come through his first ever five-set match at SW19.

He faced no such difficulties against Johnson who, unlike Norrie, previously reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2016 – although that remains his best Slam result.

The American, yet to defeat a top-20 ranked player at a major, ended British wildcard Ryan Peniston’s hopes in the second round.

But he made 43 unforced errors and eight double faults as he failed to put Norrie under any meaningful pressure, with the crowd enjoying a hugely impressive win for the home favourite.

Classy Norrie cruises past Johnson

Cameron Norrie
Cameron Norrie has reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam at the 19th attempt

There was already a party atmosphere on Centre Court well before Norrie’s final love hold confirmed a victory that had long been inevitable.

He had been unable to take his first two break point opportunities of the contest as Johnson battled back to deuce, eventually holding serve with an ace for 2-2.

The American repeated that feat two games later, frustrating his opponent from the exact same position and employing his serve to great effect.

However, Norrie was at last rewarded for his persistence as he seized his second set point with an assured backhand winner to end Johnson’s resistance.

Having faced two break points in the opening game before escaping with another fine backhand, an expectant Centre Court became increasingly vocal as the home favourite struck early in the second set – confidently consolidating his break with a love hold for 3-0.

Norrie, who frequently outmanoeuvred his opponent, then responded emphatically to a break back chance for Johnson at 3-1, winning three successive games to take a big step towards victory before closing out the match in spectacular fashion.

Johnson looked all but beaten as he eventually conceded on a fifth break point in the opening game of a must-win third set, and the crowd rose to their feet to acknowledge Norrie’s efforts once the formalities had been completed.

Analysis

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki on Today at Wimbledon

It’s a great draw for Norrie when you look at it. He’s been playing better and better throughout the last couple of years so I think anything can happen with the home crowd, playing in the big stadiums, it’s just going to push him on.

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