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Jubilant Cameron Norrie vowed to “take it to” Novak Djokovic after landing a dream Wimbledon semi-final with the defending champion. The British No 1 mounted a terrific comeback to beat David Goffin 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in front of an animated No 1 Court crowd to book himself a clash with Djokovic on Friday.
“It’s one of the toughest tasks in tennis. Grass is his favourite surface and his record here at Wimbledon is unbelievable. But I’m looking forward to taking it to him and seeing the level he brings,” said Norrie.
“It’s going to be a tricky one. I’m going to have to definitely raise my level and my level of focus to have a shot with him. I’ve a couple of days to fine-tune things and be ready for him. It’s pretty crazy to be sitting here in the semis. It was just a crazy day and a crazy match to get through. It’s the reason why you played the sport.”
Norrie lost 6-2, 6-1 to Djokovic in the ATP Finals last year in his one previous meeting. Into uncharted waters in Grand Slams, he plans to tap into the big-match experience of close friend Andy Murray ahead of the last-four clash.
“Andy has been super supportive to me and my team. I’m always practising with him and always reaching out to him for ideas. Even before the match today, he came over in the gym and said good luck,” said Norrie.
“He’s not a bad guy to ask about some tactics. I’m going to enjoy today then maybe reach out to him and see what he’s got.
“The last time I played him in Turin in another big tournament, he played very well and I think I learnt a lot from that. I think I’m going to approach it a little bit differently tactically.”
Djokovic says he will be prepared for the danger of a home underdog with a free hit at glory. “I know what to expect in terms of the crowd support and everything and he’s not got much to lose,” Djokovic said. “Every victory from now onwards is a big deal for him. I know that. I will do my homework and get ready.”
Norrie will command almost all the support on Friday but Goffin predicts Djokovic will thrive more in the one-sided atmosphere. “If he’s playing the tennis of his life maybe, and Novak is not feeling well, we never know,” he said.
“But Novak is Novak. He’s playing even better when the crowd is against him. Novak is just an alien, and I don’t know how to beat an alien.”
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