Cameron Norrie reached his fourth ATP Tour semi-final with victory over Taylor Fritz at the ASB Classic in Auckland.
The British No 2, who grew up in New Zealand before switching nationality as a teenager, is yet to drop a set at the tournament after defeating American Fritz 7-6(3) 6-3.
Norrie will now try to make it fourth time lucky when he takes on Jan-Lennard Struff who is also bidding to make his first ATP Tour final Norrie after knocking out the fourth seed Pabl Carreno Busta 7-6(5) 6-7(6) 7-6(7).
While Norrie s playing under the Union Jack, the locals are claiming him and as a consequence he is making a quire a mark, attracting big crowds ro his matches.
As he told the local newspaper, “It does feel good to have all my mates watching at home, able to watch me live and see my progression,” said Norrie. “It does mean a lot for me and it means a lot for tennis in New Zealand. Hopefully a lot of juniors here can see that a kid who did grow up here in New Zealand, and went to college and did that route and has been successful. Hopefully I’ve inspired some kids in New Zealand and that is the best thing that can come from this.
“I do feel like the crowd is kinda getting behind me. Especially in those tough moments when I am serving it out. It is helping a lot having them on my side, and I think the opponent is feeling that too.”
“I think it is building. The lady on the microphone (on court MC) keeps claiming me as Kiwi so I think that is helping. I did grow up here. It is a very special tournament for me.”
Norrie believes that his quarter-final win was the best of the week. “I was trying to be the one being more aggressive,” he explained. “I kept good composure and was able to dictate play and play on my terms in my service games.
“It was a big focus for me to try and get some wins in tiebreaks,” he added. “I was awful last year in tiebreaks, only won four or five.”