‘Bring on next year’: Fans say Norrie ‘should be proud’ after semi-final defeat
Fans have praised Cameron Norrie for his efforts in the semi-finals of Wimbledon, saying he should be “proud of himself”.
The British number one, who had never previously been past the third round of a grand slam, lost to top seed Novak Djokovic on Centre Court on Friday.
The 26-year-old had taken full advantage of a favourable draw to become just the fourth home player in the Open era to make the last four in the men’s singles at the tournament.
His profile has sky-rocketed during the fortnight, with some fans rechristening the famous Wimbledon hill Norrie Knoll.
After Friday’s disappointing defeat, fans who watched the match in the SW19 grounds said they believe Norrie will “come back stronger”.
Lyn Nave, in her early 50s from Wokingham, told the PA news agency: “I think he tried really hard and it’s just really unfortunate.
“He had a really good match – and bring on next year really!
“We’re all going to be behind him when he comes back, absolutely.”
She went on to say that the 26-year-old “played really strongly”.
“I think he should be proud of himself to be quite honest,” she said.
“Djokovic’s the more experienced and he did give him a run for his money.”
Her husband Ian, 53, said: “It’s a real shame he didn’t get any points,” adding that he might have got into the top 10 in the world rankings from being in the semi-final.
Meanwhile, Max Harrison, 27, from Islington, said: “It’s a good effort but I think he’ll come back stronger.”
“It’s sad but it’s good experience,” he added.
“At the start, I thought he looked quite loose and Djokovic looked a bit more nervous,
“He had too much time on the ball and too much time to think but he’ll come back stronger.”
His friend Dan Ellis, 27, from Islington, said: “I always felt Djokovic was going to work his way back into it even though Norrie started well.
“I reckon in a few years, I reckon, Norrie will handle that situation better.”
Helen Fox, 54, from Haslemere, and her son Harvey Fox, 25, who now lives in Wimbledon, came to cheer on the British number one.
Speaking about the match, Mrs Fox said: “It was great, I would have loved to have seen Norrie win obviously.
“We went in with that expectation because Djokovic is just so experienced. He’s done that so many times.
“I’m sad but I think Norrie should be really proud of himself.”
However, Natalie Young, 44, from Putney, said she “probably had very overhyped expectations that he would win”.
On his performance, she said: “I think he probably did a lot better than he thought.”
“I just think the British put too much on these people,” she added. “Very nice day to be here but maybe the hype – it just gets a bit carried away.”
Jo Tamblin, 54, from Shropshire, said she just felt “really sorry for Norrie”.
“I don’t know whether the heat or the nerves or something got to him but he just went to pieces a little bit didn’t he, made lots of mistakes,” she said.
“But he did well you know and it’s Djokovic, isn’t it?
It's been a pretty crazy fortnight for me. It's been, yeah, like I said, a lot of fun
“Hopefully we’ll see Norrie again – next year!”
Asked about the “proud” reaction from fans, Norrie said he was happy he could give the public “something to get excited about”.
Speaking to reporters after the match, he said: “Yeah, I think everyone’s got behind me, especially in the crowd.
“Everyone is chanting things, shouting out things – I think it’s probably the first time in this country, here and around Wimbledon, that I think people have gotten to know me a little bit more and the way I play, the way I operate on the court.”
“I think it’s given a lot of people something to cheer about,” he added.
“They love that. It’s been a pretty crazy fortnight for me. It’s been, yeah, like I said, a lot of fun.
“I’m glad that I’m giving them something to cheer about and something to talk about and something to get excited about.”