Novak Djokovic defeats Cameron Norrie to set up Wimbledon final against Nick Kyrgios
Despite dropping the first set — and the Center Court crowd chanting in support of home favorite Nouri — it was a comfortable victory for Djokovic as he broke Nouri’s resistance in the second set.
It means the 35-year-old will be playing for his seventh Wimbledon title and has not lost at SW19 since the quarter-final stage in 2017 and fourth in a row.
“I didn’t start well, he was the better player for the first set,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview after Friday’s match.
“Grand Slam semi-finals, of course I’ve been to several Grand Slam semi-finals in the past but it’s never easy to be out on court. You have a lot of pressure, expectations from yourself and of course from others. “
With the sun beating down on Center Court and blue skies, the match got off to a dream start for the home fans cheering for Nouri as the Briton broke Djokovic in the first game of the match.
Djokovic responded with a break of his own, but it didn’t stop Nouri, who was appearing in her first Grand Slam semifinal. The ninth seed took two more breaks and wrapped up the first set in 32 minutes.
Djokovic, meanwhile, had little to celebrate in the first set, except for an audacious, between-the-legs lob that sailed over the net and landed inches inside the baseline.
He returned to the court wearing a cap in the second set and held his first game to love. There were several opportunities to break Nouri — first at 2-1, then again at 3-2 — before the 20-time Grand Slam champion finally broke Nouri for a 5-3 lead. Did it.
After closing out the set, Djokovic was quickly off the mark in the third and grabbed an early break when Nouri sent a forehand long.
By now, Djokovic’s ground shots had more venom and accuracy as he began to dominate the match — even as the crowd continued to cheer for Nouri. Another break of serve followed, and the set wrapped up in 38 minutes.
The fourth set followed a similar pattern to the third set as Djokovic broke in the opening game. Nuri fought back, winning all of his remaining service games, but to no avail. The Serb completed the victory when he hit a serve out of Nouri’s reach.
Sunday will mark a remarkable 32nd final for Djokovic out of 68 Grand Slam appearances – one more than rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
He will meet Kyrgios — a player he has lost to in both of their previous meetings — after Nadal withdrew from his semi-final against Australia with an abdominal strain.
“I think the Kyrgios-Djokovic final will be mouth-watering,” Kyrgios — world No. 40, the lowest-ranked Wimbledon men’s finalist since 2003 — said earlier. Described the possibility of facing Djokovic. Friday.
As for Djokovic, he promised there would be “a lot of emotional fireworks” when the pair meet.
He said that this is going to be his first Grand Slam final, obviously he is very excited. “He doesn’t have a lot to lose and he always plays like that. He’s playing with such freedom, he has one of the biggest serves in the game.
“Just a big game overall, a lot of power in his shots. We haven’t played in a while, I’ve never won a set with him, so hopefully it can be different this time.”