Thursday, January 26, 2023

Novak Djokovic defeats Cameron Norrie to go to the Wimbledon final

“It’s crazy how the entire game can come apart just because you’re stressed. Then none of the photos function correctly. Your steps are stiff and sluggish “According to Djokovic. “Something occurs during a match, and then everything changes and you’re flying. Everything is in order.”

The No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic won at Wimbledon on Friday, defeating No. 9 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals to extend his winning streak at the All England Club to 27 games as he strives for a fourth consecutive title on the grass courts.

“You feel more prepared, not better, as you encounter more of these kinds of circumstances. You already know what to expect, “According to Djokovic. “It’s always about controlling your own anxieties better than your opponent does. This internal conflict is always the most intense.”

On Sunday, he will compete for the championship against Nick Kyrgios, a first-time major finalist.

“The task is not completed,” Djokovic stated.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal withdrew due to a strained abdominal muscle, so the unseeded Kyrgios, an explosive 27-year-old Australian who garnered jeers at the mere mention of his name during Djokovic’s on-court interview, did not need to play Friday.

Kyrgios hailed the impending showdown as “mouth-watering.”

He had won both prior matches with Djokovic, albeit on hard courts five years ago.

“One thing is certain,” Djokovic stated. “There will be a lot of emotional explosions from both.”

Djokovic’s participation in yet another Wimbledon final is significantly more anticipated than Kyrgios’. However, as top seed Djokovic pointed out, his opponent on Sunday has the skill to be in the spotlight.

“These are the instances when he enjoys, flourishes, on a huge platform,” remarked Djokovic. “In a way, it’s not surprising that he’s there.” As a tennis fan, I’m thrilled he’s in the finals because he has so much potential. When he arrived on the tour, everyone praised him and expected big things from him.

“Naturally, we then know what was going on with him intellectually and emotionally over a long period of time. On and off the court, a variety of factors were interfering with his ability to maintain consistency. This is where he needs to be, and where he deserves to be, as a quality player.”

Djokovic, 35, of Serbia will be competing in his 32nd Grand Slam final, breaking the tie for the men’s record he has with Roger Federer. He will have the opportunity to win his seventh Wimbledon championship and 20th major championship. Only Federer has more in the men’s grass-court competition, with eight.

It’s unclear what permits Djokovic to lag and ultimately win – he has seven career comebacks from a two-set deficit, including one in the 2021 French Open final. He stated that a pep talk in the restroom helped him beat Sinner. He remarked that wearing a white hat after the opening set helped him against Norrie.

When asked during a press conference on Friday to explain the white bottle he appeared to inhale from during another match, Djokovic said, “Magic potion.”

Djokovic vs. Norrie got off to a good start for Londoners wanting to see one of their own reaches a men’s final, something only two-time Wimbledon winner Andy Murray has done for Britain since the professional era began in 1968.

Roars erupted as Norrie, the left-handed player, stood first from his seat; Djokovic was putting water on his hand and wiping it through his hair. In the first game, Norrie leapt and delivered an uppercut after his volley winner ended a break. In the stands, Union Jack banners were flying.

Was the championship secured? No. A place in the championship game? That’s not it, either. Overall, it was a fitting celebration after one of 35 games, five of 202 points, and four of 154 minutes.

When Djokovic regained his composure, he stepped over to his white towel and mopped at his perspiration. This was hardly a major accomplishment in his opinion.

On one especially brilliant occasion, Djokovic demonstrated his versatility and superiority. On the move, he blasted a spinning half-volley, but Norrie responded with a lob.

So Djokovic sprinted back toward the baseline, the net behind him, and conjured up his own between-the-legs, facing-the-wrong-way, high-arching lob that somehow found its way in. Djokovic completed the 14-stroke exchange with a drop volley winner as Norrie rushed to it and twisted his body to respond with a forehand.

Even the partisans in attendance applauded. Djokovic pointed to the skies with his right index finger.

Nonetheless, just two of Norrie’s first 20 points came from victories he created. In the opening set alone, Djokovic had 12 unforced errors. Djokovic committed 16 unforced mistakes in the last three sets combined, indicating how well he restored order.

Norrie, who had never made it past the third round of a major previously, seemed less sharp as Djokovic intensified the pressure – both inside points and on the scoreboard. Norrie’s shaky service game, which included three unforced mistakes, let Djokovic to break and take a 5-3 lead in the second set.

“He kind of handed it to me,” Djokovic said after winning 11 of 13 games in a match-changing span.

He was broken three times in the opening set and never faced a break point again.

Some spectators chanted “Let’s go, Norrie, let’s go!” early in the third set, maybe feeling their guy needed a lift. Nothing was altered. 

Djokovic broke to start the third set. In the fourth, I did the same thing. “We just locked it down,” Norrie explained.

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