After Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal on Thursday, there will only be one semi-final in the men’s draw on Friday. It will be between Cameron Norrie and Novak Djokovic, who is now only two matches from a fourth straight Wimbledon. Norrie will be hoping to emulate Emma Raducanu as a shock British slam finalist and/or champion but the challenge for him still looks much greater on paper.
Norrie came from 1-2 down for the second time in the tournament, this time fighting back against David Goffin to edge it right at the death 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5. He was quite error prone in the first few sets but tidied things up near the end, getting carried through by the crowd. “It just wasn’t going my way from the beginning. Wasn’t feeling good and feeling the ball. That was all credit to David. He was moving me, playing really good and I couldn’t find my game,” Norrie said in the on court interview. “Then thanks to you guys, I managed to stay as patient as I could and it was all just adrenaline and just used my legs at the end and tried to put the ball in the court. It’s great to get over the line.”
Djokovic’s also needed five sets to advance, coming from two sets down to beat Jannik Sinner 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2. The Italian took the game to Djokovic early and was rewarded for his proactive approach, putting the top seed under pressure early. It’s hard to properly put down Djokovic as his now 10-1 record in five setters at Wimbledon shows. An early break in the third set put him on the way to taking back the initiative, which he would never give back as Sinner faltered late.
There’s no doubt that Djokovic is the heavy favourite here given his incredible record at Wimbledon. It’s hard to pinpoint where Norrie, who is incredibly consistent but doesn’t possess a killer weapon, can really target Djokovic over five sets. Djokovic won their only match 6-2 6-1 at last year’s Tour Finals and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another fairly one sided affair this time round.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets