Last Brit standing Cameron Norrie exited Wimbledon in a tough four set loss to 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer. The opening two sets saw Norrie fight well on serve but couldn’t create enough opportunities on return against the Federer serve. While the eight-time champion played some of the best tennis of his comeback from knee surgery as he played with confidence and produced some high-offensive shot-making to put Norrie under pressure.
Eventually in the opening set Norrie crumbled to the pressure as Federer broke to love in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead. That was the only the break of the set as the world number eight won the opening set in 31 minutes.
The second set saw Norrie start much better as some attacking patterns of play saw him create two break points. But as so often is the case, Federer came up with some clutch serves to save them following that with a break of his own to lead 2-1. Despite creating some half-chances, the 29th seed couldn’t take advantage as Federer continued his confident start to the match taking a two sets to love lead.
In the third set both players held serve with relative ease as Federer couldn’t quite seal the important break to clinch the match. After producing some gutsy serving on break points down in the eleventh game, Norrie broke to love to seal the third set as the Centre Court crowd roared in delight.
There was a big-match feel to the contest as both players started to bring more consistent level to proceedings. As Norrie’s level rose, Federer’s level dropped slightly as the tension was palpable. After losing his serve in the fifth game, the Brit failed to go away lightly and broke back straight away for 3-3.
In the end though some tentative Norrie points costed him as Federer broke in the ninth game and will close out the win which was followed by a big reaction. A big win for Federer’s quest for a ninth title.
As for Norrie it was a second consecutive loss where he played well against a legend of the sport at their best slam. First Nadal at Roland Garros and now Federer at Wimbledon, with a valiant effort not being enough to pull off the comeback.
After the match Norrie revealed he was left disappointed:
“I was a little bit disappointed with my level today. I think I gave a lot of free points early on, especially first two sets I didn’t serve that well. I was missing a lot of second-serve returns.
“But, yeah, regardless of the situation, it was amazing to play against him, to experience that, to have that kind of atmosphere out there on Centre Court. I loved every minute of it. But I was disappointed, not the level I’d been playing previously, and definitely not the way I played in the round before, as well. It was tough.
“Obviously I think it was partly because of obviously the way he plays. He came up pretty aggressive. But I didn’t execute well at all throughout the whole match. I was disappointed, but I competed as hard as I could. I loved it out there.”
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