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Wimbledon: Cameron Norrie beats Jack Draper as Novak Djokovic survives scare against Jacob Fearnley | Tennis News

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Cameron Norrie won the all-British clash with rising star Jack Draper to reach
the third round at Wimbledon, while Novak Djokovic overcame a terrific fightback from Jacob Fearnley.

Draper had replaced Norrie as the country’s No 1 male player last month.

But former semi-finalist Norrie found his form when it mattered in a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory on Court One.

“It was not easy to come out and play Jack, and we are good friends off the court,” he said.

“I had to put that aside. I was a bit of an underdog but I was relaxed to be honest.

“I’m feeling really good physically and wanted to trust my movement and my legs. The level is there and I used my experience against Jack.

“I was a bit nervy at the end of that tie-break but I got it done. It’s a special day for me.”

This was a stunning – if surprising – reminder of his Wimbledon pedigree in the first meeting of the men’s British Nos 1 and 2 at a Grand Slam since Tim Henman beat Greg Rusedski in the 2002 Australian Open.

No shots were fired in this latest battle of Britain until the first-set tie-break, when a Norrie drop shot left a scrambling Draper lying on his back at the net.

Norrie’s volley to win the set had Draper muttering towards his team, prodding his chest before discarding his racket in disgust as he sat down.

A pumped-up Norrie broke a subdued Draper at the start of the second with the first break point of the match.

Barely 10 minutes later Norrie had won 14 of the next 15 points to lead 4-0 on his way to a two-set lead.

Draper had needed five sets to beat Elias Ymer in round one and was going to have to do the same if he was to reach the third round for the first time.

He finally broke for 4-2 in the third with a stunning backhand winner past his fellow left-hander.

Jack Draper (left) and Cameron Norrie shake hands after their match on day four of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London. Picture date: Thursday July 4, 2024.
Image:
Draper (left) and Norrie shake hands at the net

But, when serving for the set, Draper was broken to love, another cross-court pass followed by the ubiquitous Norrie fist pump.

In the tie-break Draper saved one match point on his own serve, but when he double-faulted Norrie made no mistake with the second.

Djokovic survives Fearnley’s fightback

Jacob Fearnley (right) following his defeat to Novak Djokovic on day four of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London. Picture date: Thursday July 4, 2024.
Image:
Jacob Fearnley (right) congratulates Novak Djokovic on his win

Djokovic overcame a terrific fightback from British No 13 Fearnley on Centre Court to win 6-3 6-4 5-7 7-5 and reach the third round of Wimbledon.

World No 277 Fearnley stunned the home crowd when he took the third set 7-5 forcing seven-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic to work hard for his victory in a contest that lasted three hours.

“I dropped my level,” admitted the Serb. “I think I should have done some things better in the third set to finish it off.

“I think I just did enough to win there in the fourth. I was a bit lucky to really get out of trouble and not go a break down.

“Hopefully I can raise the level in the upcoming rounds.”

While Djokovic can now look forward to a third-round showdown with Australian Alexei Popyrin, Fearnley gave himself a pat on the back.

“I was playing the greatest tennis player of all time on Centre Court, Wimbledon, so it’s very difficult to be too disappointed,” he said.

“I was super grateful to have the opportunity to play on that court against that opponent. Proud is how I’m feeling right now.”

The wild card, who was ranked outside the world’s top 500 just a month ago before shooting up almost 250 spots after winning a second-tier Challenger event in Nottingham, made a memorable Centre Court debut.

Fearnley earned a clap from Djokovic after a neat volley got the third set under way and had the crowd on their feet when he broke the Serb in the sixth game.

Djokovic double-faulted to go 15-40 down in the sixth game, but the second seed went clutch to hold and broke the novice to reach the third round weeks after surgery on a torn meniscus threatened his Wimbledon participation.

Hubert Hurkacz of Poland falls attempting to return a shot to Arthur Fils of France during their second round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Thursday, July 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
Image:
Hubert Hurkacz dived to make a volley during a fourth-set tie-break against Frenchman Arthur Fils and hurt his knee

A potential hurdle for Djokovic removed himself when seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz, his projected quarter-final opponent, was injured winning a point.

The 27-year-old from Poland, highly-fancied at this year’s Championships, dived to make a volley during a fourth-set tie-break against Frenchman Arthur Fils and hurt his knee.

Hurkacz, who ended Roger Federer’s Wimbledon career three years ago, tried to play on after having the knee strapped up but managed just two more points before retiring.

Grigor Dimitrov, the Bulgarian 10th seed, had to come from two sets down to beat Chinese teenager Shang Juncheng, a player 14 years his junior, in five.

American 13th seed Taylor Fritz needed four sets to see off the stubborn Arthur Rinderknech and another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, won the battle of the veterans 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-6 (7-3) with Stan Wawrinka.

Australian ninth seed Alex de Minaur beat Spain’s Jaume Munar in straight sets, while Ben Shelton, the 14th seed from America, won his second five-setter of the week, 10-7 in a fifth-set tie-break, to edge past South African Lloyd Harris.

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