Another packed centre court crowd watching the cinch Championships at Queen’s, were kept on the edge of their seats for nearly to hours as Cameron Norrie recovered from losing his opening set to defat Jordan Thompson of Australia.
It was just classic grass-court tennis and I was able to come out with a lot more energy in that third set and I think that was the difference, Cameron Norrie
Fifth seeded Norrie, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, tightened up his game in the second set and took control of the match in the decider to post a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory to progress into the quarter finals.
Three uncharacteristic shots in the sixth game of the first set, namely netting a straightforward volley, missing the line with a forehand and ill-judging the flight of a lob, handed Jordan the only break of the opening set, which he then consolidated into a 5-3 lead with three aces!
Norrie then took himself in hand and with his renown determination, erased the errors and like his opponent in the opening set, made the crucial breakthrough in the sixth game of the second with his groundstrokes now regularly finding their mark.
In the third, Norrie completed the dramatic turn-around gaining a double break only to falter when serving for the match when he had to stave off three break-back points. However, he eventually setup a a match point with his fifth ace and then crossed the line with an unreturnable first serve.
“It was just classic grass-court tennis and I was able to come out with a lot more energy in that third set and I think that was the difference,” Norrie, world-ranked 13 said in his on-court interview on reaching his sixth quarter final of the year as he prepares for Wimbledon which starts July 3.
“It’s really good to be that consistent but you always want more as a tennis player,” he added. “I want to keep pushing for more and playing my best tennis at the bigger tournaments and especially at a huge tournament like Queen’s. It’s one of my favourite tournaments of the year.”
Meanwhile fellow Briton Ryan Peniston failed to emulate his 2022 run of making the last eight as he was beaten 6-3 6-4 by second seed Holger Rune.
The 20-year-old Dane, world ranked six but inexperienced on grass, produced a more than solid performance to secure his expected victory over Essex’s favourite son!
The Dane secured an early break which silenced the partisan crowd to stroll through the opening set.
Peniston rescued two break points in a mammoth fifth game in the second but eventually lost serve with a double fault, allowing Rune to sweep past him in just 86-minutes.
For Rune, the win was only his second on grass but he showed that once he gains confidence on the surface, he will be a difficult player to beat with his aggressive all court game having dropped just five points on his first serve.
“I think the most important is that I came with a very, very humble approach to the surface and [was] ready to adjust it at any moment,” Rune said on court. “I played Ryan last year (and lost), so I knew more of what I was coming into. Last year I didn’t see him play so much, but I’ve seen him over the year now and he’s a great player, especially on this surface.
“He’s dangerous. He makes you move and we all know how tough it is to move on grass, so I’m happy to come through.”
Rune will now get a day off before meeting Italian 21-year-old Lorenzo Musetti who after two-hours and 11-minutes ousted Ben Shelton 6-4 4-6 6-4.
Sebastian Korda pulled off a minor upset ousting his countryman, the Stuttgart champion and fourth-seeded Frances Tiafoe 7-6(2) 6-3 in an-All American battle.
“Me and Frances always have some battles and just very happy to get through in straight sets,” Korda said. “Frances, he always brings a show, he always gets the crowd involved. Sometimes you’ve just got to kind of put your head down and take care of business. That’s all you can really do because when he starts to get going and kind of bringing everyone in, then he plays some of the best tennis on Tour.”
Korda takes on Norrie for a place in the semi-finals.