Ninth seed Cameron Norrie kept the British flag flying at Wimbledon on Sunday by progressing to his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal with a commanding 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory over American Tommy Paul.
Left-hander Norrie is the only local hope surviving at the grasscourt major and for a place in Friday’s semifinals he will meet Belgian David Goffin, who earlier edged American 23rd seed Frances Tiafoe 7-6(3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
Paul, seeded 30th, had defeated a left-handed player in each of his previous three rounds but failed to find solutions to breach Norrie’s precise delivery and tame his opponent’s accurate forehand in a frenzied atmosphere on Court One.
Norrie broke Paul’s delivery in the opening game to take the lead and then saved four breakpoints on his own serve in the sixth game to keep his nose ahead and take the first set.
Federer says he hopes to play Wimbledon ‘one more time’
Spinning his racquet from one hand to the other while receiving serve, the 25-year-old American could not find a way to dent Norrie’s delivery but looked to be more aggressive overall by approaching the net more often.
But Norrie’s expansive forehand was up to the challenge and a netted return from Paul gave him a break of serve in the third game of the second set. Paul again had two chances to get the set back on serve but the Briton saved both for a 4-2 lead.
With Norrie serving at 5-4, the American finally managed to convert a breakpoint, only to be broken back immediately to hand back the lead, much to the delight of the partisan crowd.
The third set followed a similar script with Norrie once again getting an early break of serve in the third game and the 26-year-old converted his first matchpoint when Paul pulled a forehand wide.