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Cameron Norie’s performance was all about lung power and tenacity, as he never looked back after breaking Johnson to take the first set.
Not that Britain has become increasingly packed with top ten world-ranked tennis players over the years – yet Nori can still walk Wimbledon High Street without a selfie.
He is a man in the world – a Scottish father, a Welsh mother, born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand, and schooled in Texas. The fact that he supports the All Blacks in rugby suggests that he is not
It doesn’t help that the 26-year-old Nori hasn’t enjoyed a serious run at Grand Slams so far – coming a cropper against Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal in their last third-round matches in the Majors.
But his consistency on tour earned him a career-high ranking and he made the most of it this week.
He is athletic but not brilliant on the court and not charismatic away from the action.
But this prime-time spot on Center Court was his chance to attract a wider audience—particularly those already outside A-listers Andy Murray and Emma Radukanu.
Norie forced two break points early twice, but Johnson was unable to hit the aces – but at 4-45 he swooped over the net to break the American at set point.
Johnson, who had defeated Essex boy Ryan Peniston in the previous round, missed a fine scoring opportunity early in the second round when he netted a volley.
Norrie captured this and broke Johnson in the next game, leaving California’s serve erratic.
The first ‘Hey! Oh! Oh!’ Chanters echoed as Britain thumped a service-return winner below the baseline to break Johnson again.
He broke once again through a humiliating improvised recovery shot at the start of the third and then a successful Hawkeye review to seal the deal.
Johnson looked like a broken man after that and Nori worked tirelessly to beat his old opponent in the final set.