|place: all england dates: Jun 27 – Jul 10|
|coverage: Live BBC TV, Radio and Online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.|
Shortly before the British turf season began, Cameron Norrie told an amusing anecdote when asked how he handled the increased scrutiny that local players receive during Wimbledon.
Britain’s number one man said, “I’ve been sitting in a restaurant lately, in the pub, and the waiter is going to me. Do you watch a lot of tennis?”
“I was getting dressed up and said ‘Watch a little.'”
‘You look exactly like that player, Cameron Norrie,’ he said.
“I was, like, ‘Oh really, okay.’ I played along, I didn’t say anything and on the way out I said ‘I’m Cameron Norrie.’ He couldn’t believe it.”
The waiter is unlikely to make the same mistake after world number 12 Nouri reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon, He will play defending champion Novak Djokovic on Friday.
The 26-year-old left-hander has enjoyed a rapid rise in the ATP rankings in the past two years, but he was still making real headway in one of the sport’s four major championships.
Success in these events truly cements a British player in public conscience – particularly Wimbledon – and Nouri’s quarter-final victory over Belgium’s David Goffin was another moment that would knock him out of the nation.
While national recognition or celebrity status is not Nouri’s main goal, he says he is “enjoying and embracing” the interest that comes with being one of Britain’s biggest hopes for the All England Club.
An impassioned atmosphere built into the first court as he returned from five sets against Goffin, culminating in a rousing chant as “Nuri! Nuri! Nuri! Moments after his victory.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the 11,000 or so fans, with Prince William’s facial expressions particularly summarizing the nation’s desire for a man to cross the line.
“I finally saw them there,” said Nouri, who broke down uncharacteristically in tears while playing on the field. “Obviously it’s very special to play against them, and they obviously had more interest in my game, which is pretty cool.” an interview.
“At the end of the fourth set, I really got the audience involved and they were behind me on every point.
“I think it frustrated David a little bit. Maybe that’s the difference.”
How a multicultural journey thrives in London
Norrie’s journey began in Johannesburg, and after moving to Oakland as a child and then studying in Texas, he has since made his home in London.
With his Welsh mother and Scottish father, he was always destined to represent the nation even though he retained a hint of a Kiwi accent.
His parents, microbiologists David and Helen, were a driving force in his life and proudly watched Court One as the family shared his best moments together.
“I think every match I won this week was my mum crying,” Nouri said.
The couple still live in New Zealand and have missed out on much of his recent ascent in the flesh due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But they’ve been following their son around the European Mud and Turf Championships since flying to Rome in May.
“It’s great for them to be here watching. It’s very rare for them to be here and watching, especially for the past two years,” Nouri added.
“The games get bigger and the moments become more special.”
His sister Bronwyn, who lives in London, was among his loved ones watching court in court, along with his old landlady, Linda, and friends from his college days.
One of the reasons Nouri has not caught as much attention as the first Briton might be is his calm and laid-back demeanor which means he doesn’t seek the limelight out of court.
During his spare time, he likes to relax on the beach, or in a park near his home in West London, with his girlfriend Louise – the interior designer – or those who are in the circle of close friends.
“I feel really good in London,” he said earlier this week.
“It’s good for tennis. It’s a good base and I really enjoy spending time here.
“I have a good group of friends now in London and I love training at the National Tennis Centre, and helping all the younger Brits too.”
Why did the slam breakout take so long?
Going deeper into a Grand Slam has been one of the main goals for left-handers lately.
Facing two of the sport’s all-time greats in the third round stage on three occasions last year hasn’t helped his cause.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal outplayed Nouri with successive wins in Melbourne and Paris, while Roger Federer was feeling too wary for him at Wimbledon.
After losing to Russia’s Karen Khachanov on the same stage at the French Open last month, it was the fourth time in six major teams that he has lost in the last 32.
He has now reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon after two seasons winning his first ATP title, earning his first Masters title and cracking the top 10 in the world.
Asked about his career aspirations after dropping out of college, he said, “I didn’t think straight after college, I’d be in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam and set crazy goals like that.
“I think it’s cool to do it but I think it was unrealistic at the time.
“So I think I did a good job of keeping expectations low and then realizing and maximizing the talent I have.
“I think I still have a lot of things I can improve on, which is exciting.”