Wimbledon: Cameron Norrie requirements to ‘take risks’ versus Novak Djokovic, says Tim Henman

Wimbledon: Cameron Norrie requirements to ‘take risks’ versus Novak Djokovic, says Tim Henman
Tim Henman speaks to Cameron Norrie during the 2020 ATP Cup in Sydney
Tim Henman captained a Great Britain staff showcasing Cameron Norrie all through the 2020 ATP Cup in Sydney

Cameron Norrie requirements to “choose threats” when he faces the “greatest obstacle” of participating in Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals, suggests Tim Henman.

Briton Norrie, the ninth seed, faces defending champion Djokovic on Centre Court docket not just before 14:30 BST on Friday.

The 26-year-aged experienced never been further than the 3rd round of a Grand Slam until eventually this year’s tournament.

“It is a two-horse race. Djokovic is the large favourite but Cam’s usually bought a possibility,” Henman explained to BBC Sport.

“We’ve seen these upsets in the previous and, fingers crossed, Cam can give just one of the greatest upsets.”

The winner will encounter Nick Kyrgios in the ultimate on Sunday right after Rafael Nadal withdrew from the match because of his stomach injuries.

‘Huge opportunity’ for Norrie

Norrie reached the major 10 in the planet in April acquiring received two ATP Tour titles this 12 months, even though top seed Djokovic is searching for his fourth Wimbledon title in a row and seventh general.

BBC commentator Henman, a four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, experienced Norrie on the staff when he was Fantastic Britain captain for the 2020 ATP Cup in Sydney.

At the time, Norrie was ranked 52 in the world and experienced nevertheless to gain an ATP Tour title. He’s gained four due to the fact the get started of 2021, which includes the prestigious Indian Wells tournament in October.

Searching back again to the ATP Cup, Henman claimed: “He was progressing in the proper course, a wonderful function ethic. But if you had claimed to me then that he is likely to gain numerous situations on tour, win a Masters 1,000, and then he is heading to be in the semis of Wimbledon, I would not have always believed you.

“I consider that is testament to his get the job done ethic, how a lot his activity has improved. Not only has his match improved but his all round perception. Now he’s been in the leading 10, this has been one more substantial milestone possessing not been previous the 3rd round of a Slam. It truly is a large chance for him.”

Previous globe amount four Henman states that Norrie is “this sort of a fantastic part design for the younger players” mainly because of how he’s worked to make the most of his expertise.

“Results is about maximising your opportunity,” he mentioned. “When you seem at what Cam’s executing there is no question he seriously is maximising his prospective.”

Each Norrie and Djokovic had to appear as a result of 5-established matches in their quarter-finals, with the Briton outlasting David Goffin and the Serb coming back from two sets down in opposition to Jannik Sinner.

Henman thinks Norrie’s “awkward” sport and “relentless” solution can lead to issues for the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

“He’s a left-hander to start off with, the wide range in his serve is there and he’s received two massively contrasting pictures from the again of the court – he is got this hefty, really grippy topspin forehand and an exceptionally flat, efficient backhand,” he explained.

“Then you throw in his athletic means, his movement. He’s able to operate all day, he makes several unforced errors from the back again of the court. He is just a seriously difficult shopper to play towards.

“With no Roger Federer becoming below, Djokovic is undoubtedly the finest grass-courtroom player in the entire world. I consider it is really the ultimate challenge at Wimbledon to perform Djokovic.

“Norrie’s received to take risks. He is acquired to glance to be intense simply because we know that Djokovic has a lot of the exact same qualities. It’s the toughest exam on a grass court more than five sets but Cam has bought absolutely nothing to get rid of and a ton to get.”

‘Back by yourself, embrace the celebration and use the crowd’

Tim Henman shakes hands with Pete Sampras at the end of their 1998 Wimbledon semi-final
Tim Henman dropped 6-3 4-6 7-5 6-3 to Pete Sampras in the 1998 Wimbledon semi-finals

Henman manufactured the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002, shedding to Pete Sampras around four sets in the initially two prior to the three-working day 5-set epic against Goran Ivanisevic and lastly a straight-established reduction to Lleyton Hewitt.

When facing Sampras, who concluded his career with 7 Wimbledon titles, Henman was the underdog but reported he “backed myself” and that it is vital that Norrie does the exact same.

“It was a major phase up, in all probability the most intensive match of my existence at that phase because it’s magnified – you are a British player playing at property and we hadn’t experienced a British player in the semis in the men’s due to the fact 1973,” recalled Henman of his to start with semi-closing.

“I was the underdog but I backed myself. I was actively playing great tennis and these ended up excellent conditions for me. It was my favorite event, my favorite court docket to engage in on, so I had 100% belief that I could go out there and gain that match. I assume it’s essential that Cam definitely has that belief even although it can be probably the toughest check on a grass court.”

Henman thinks it will assistance Norrie’s odds if he consists of the Centre Court on Friday.

“A single of the aspects that Cam’s received to use – and he did it perfectly in opposition to Goffin – is the crowd,” he said.

“Not only can it give him a big improve but we have noticed that it can get under Djokovic’s pores and skin. Which is heading to be an critical 12th male for Norrie.”

What would his closing word of information be for Norrie?

“Just embrace the occasion,” said Henman. “To be in a Slam semi, playing at home at Centre Court docket at Wimbledon, go out there and get pleasure from it and give it your best shot and believe that you can do it.”

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