Novak Djokovic will meet Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon Championship final on Sunday as the top seed overcame Cameron Norrie 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. After losing the first set — and with the Centre Court crowd cheering for Norrie back home — Djokovic emerged triumphant in the second set.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals for the seventh time in his career and the fourth year in a row after defeating No. 5-ranked Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 on Friday. “I didn’t start off well, he was the better player for the first set,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview after Friday’s match. “Semifinals of a grand slam, of course I’ve had in the past many semifinals of grand slams but it’s never easy walking out onto the court. You have a lot of pressure, expectations from yourself and of course from others as well.”
The sun overhead and blue skies hanging encouraged the crowd at Centre Court as Norrie won the opening game amongst British fans cheering for Norrie against Novak.
Djokovic replied with a break of his own, but Norrie was unfazed, taking two more breaks to take the first set 6-3. This was Norrie’s first appearance in a grand slam semifinal; he is the ninth seed.
Meanwhile, Djokovic had little cause to celebrate in the first set, except for an audacious, between-the-legs lob that sailed over his opponent and landed inch-perfectly inside the baseline.
In the second set, Djokovic returned to court wearing a cap and held his first game to love. Several opportunities to break Norrie arose as the set progressed—first at 2–1 and then again at 3–2 — before the 20-time grand slam champion finally got the upper hand by breaking Norrie for a 5–3 lead. After closing out the set, Djokovic was quick off the mark in the third and secured an early break when Norrie skewed a forehand long.
Djokovic’s groundshots had a lot more venom and precision since he became able to push his dominance on the match — as the crowd continued to provide riling support for Norrie. Another break of serve followed, and the set wrapped up within 38 minutes.
In the fourth set, Djokovic broke Norrie’s opening service game. Norrie battled on and won his remaining service games but it was to no avail. The Serb completed victory when he hammered a serve beyond Norrie’s reach. Sunday will be a remarkable 32nd grand slam final for Djokovic from 68 appearances—one more than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He will face Kyrgios, who lost to the Serb in both of their two previous meetings. “I think a Kyrgios-Djokovic final would be mouth-watering,” Kyrgios said earlier in the day.
27-year-old Andy Murray has played some exciting tennis thus far in this competition, while his foes have rotted for joy at his shenanigans on the court — in particular, Stefanos Tsitsipas. As for Djokovic, he hoped there would be “a lot of fireworks emotionally” when the pair faced off.
“He’s never been to a grand slam final before and he’s very excited about it,” said Djokovic. “He doesn’t really have anything to lose and he tends to play that way. He plays free, hits the ball hard and doesn’t care about his mistakes. We haven’t played for some time, but I’ve never beaten him in a set.”