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CAMERON NORRIE has stayed under the radar during his eight-month reign as British number one, but that is changing at Wimbledon, and he will find himself in the full glare of the spotlight if he can reach the semi-finals.
The 26-year-old beat Tommy Paul in straight sets to make his first grand slam quarter-final, where he will take on experienced Belgian David Goffin tomorrow.
Should Norrie win, he will join Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Roger Taylor as the only British men to reach the semi-finals of the men’s singles at the All England Club in the Open Era.
And he is favoured to do so as the ninth seed and a consistent winner of titles on the ATP Tour over the last two seasons, including at Indian Wells in October – one of the biggest events outside the grand slams.
His low-key profile is a combination of his understated nature, the attention given to the likes of Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray and the fact he had not had a deep run at a slam, having never previously made it past the third round.
Norrie’s tennis is also more solid than spectacular but he makes up for the lack of a big weapon with an exemplary attitude and a strong capacity for hard work.
While Norrie is not used to the sort of attention he is now receiving, he seems totally unfazed by it and called for even more support in his clash with Goffin, which has been overlooked for Centre Court and will instead be played on Court One.
Asked about being a figurehead for the British game, he said: “I’m feeling comfortable doing that, and really enjoying playing at this level, first of all.
“If I can help any of the younger guys, there’s a big group of guys coming through with a lot of talent, a lot of chances to make it inside the top 100. I can be that guy to lead them on and to show they can do it.”
Norrie will certainly not be underestimating Goffin, who is a former top-10 player and through to the quarter-finals of a slam for the fourth time – and second at Wimbledon – after battling back from injury problems last year.
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