London — Topseed Novak Djokovic recovers from a fierce start to overwhelm British Cameron Norrie 2–6 6–3 6–2 6–4 on Friday, after recovering from a fierce start against Nick Kyrgios in the blockbuster Wimbledon final I set up a battle.
Inspired by an hour on a tanned center court, Norrie, the ninth seed, surpassed the 20th Grand Slam Champion and seemed to be in great confusion in his first major semifinal.
Partisan’s home crowd roared as Norrie took advantage of the tense Djokovic error rash to win five games in a row and win the opening set.
Djokovic won four consecutive Wimbledon titles and a total of seven titles, but found his normal rhythm and gradually took the lead as Norie’s level went down.
It was a one-way street from the moment the Serbs defeated Norie’s serve in the eighth game of the second set.
Norrie fought fiercely in the fourth set as the crowd found the voice again, but eventually couldn’t resist Djokovic’s march to the 32nd men’s record final from the 68 Grand Slam event.
Australia’s Kyrgios, whose injured Spaniard Rafael Nadal won the semi-final, stands between 35-year-old Djokovic and the 21st Grand Slam title.
After a few boos after a gesture with a Heckling fan after the match, Djokovic admitted that he had a hard time establishing a relationship with Norrie early on.
“I didn’t get off to a good start and he was a better player on the first set,” said Djokovic, who won 27 consecutive games at Wimbledon in 2017.
“There is always a lot of pressure and expectation in the Grand Slam semifinals. Cameron didn’t have much to lose and he was playing life tournaments.
“I took a lucky break 4–3. He gave me the game. After that, the momentum changed a bit.”
New Zealand-born left-handed Norrie was likely to be the second Englishman to advance to the Wimbledon singles final during his professional days.
They were slashed after Djokovic’s astonishing first set in the 11th Wimbledon semifinal, where he struggled in the face of Norie’s depth and accuracy.
Thousands of people were watching on the screen when Norrie won the net exchange to break the serve in the opening game, with a big roar around the court and on the adjacent hills.
Djokovic replied immediately, but his precise game seemed terribly out of sync as Norrie, a former US college student, hit the first set.
Djokovic has been an old hand in dealing with adversity, and after changing rackets and wearing a white hat, he transformed into a metronomic self.
Norrie saved break points 1–2 and 2–3 in the second set, but Djokovic continued probing, and Norrie missed a simple volley in 3–4 and gave up his serve in the forehand.
Djokovic was 0-30 late when he entered the set, but scored the next four points to level the match.
Norrie shook his forehand across the baseline and dropped his serve on the third start, while Djokovic lost control as his upset hopes melted in the sun.
The crowd tried to revive Norrie by chanting “Let’s go to Norrie, Let’s Go” in the fourth set, but it was hope, not expectation, as Djokovic turned the screw.
He will face Kyrgios on Sunday and the Australians will have to play 2-0.
“The work isn’t done,” he said. “One thing is for sure, we two are emotionally launching a lot of fireworks. I have never won his set-off. This time it may be different.”