LONDON, July 1 – British number one Cameron Norrie sailed into uncharted territory by reaching the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 6-0 win over American Steve Johnson at Wimbledon on Friday.
The world number 12, who joined compatriot Heather Watson in the last 16, next faces another American in Tommy Paul.
Norrie becomes the first British man in five years to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon, and the previous being twice champions Andy Murray. It was a much easier outing than his previous match when t took him to five sets by Spaniard Jaume Munar.
“It feels excellent, especially here at Wimbledon, at home. First time in the second week of a Grand Slam, and I couldn’t be happier, especially with all my friends and family watching me,” Norrie said on court.
“It’s good timing that they’re here! I enjoyed that match today, and it was a bit less stressful than the last round for my squad.”
The first set was a fairly even contest, staying on serve as both players canceled each other. Johnson’s serve, regularly above 120mph, also kept Norrie at bay, with seven aces to none for the Briton.
However, ninth seed Norrie finally made the breakthrough in the 10th game to clinch the set before grabbing an early break in the second after Johnson’s resistance started to wane with successive double faults and unforced errors.
A long backhand from the 93rd-ranked American gave Norrie another break opportunity which the Briton sealed to go 5-1 up. From there, he comfortably served out the second set.
All but put any hope of a recovery for the 32-year-old American to rest in the first game of the third set, which lasted almost 15 minutes but ended with another early break for Norrie.
He grabbed two more en route to close out the set 6-0 and clinching his place in the last 16 to the crowd’s cheers.
“I’m as ready as I can be – I’m training as hard as I can, and it’s been a tricky grass season, and I’ve peaked at the right time,” said Norrie, who reached a career-high ranking of 10 in April this year.