‘Can Norrie win Wimbledon?’ – Nick Kyrgios impressed by battle of Britain winner

Nick Kyrgios was so impressed with Cameron Norrie’s statement win over new British number one Jack Draper he posed the question: “Can Norrie win Wimbledon?”

Former finalist Kyrgios was commentating for the BBC as Norrie confidently beat his compatriot, who overtook him to become the country’s top-ranked man last month, 7-6 (3) 6-4 7-6 (6).

Norrie said: “I love that from Nick. Yeah, he has a good eye for tennis. Hopefully he saw that I was playing well today.

“I was happy with the way I was playing. Nick was happy with the way I was playing. That means a lot from him.”

Norrie arrived in SW19 in no sort of form but he was pumped up and looked out to prove a point to his young rival.

However, he added: “I was just really enjoying my tennis, the way I was moving, hitting the ball. I was winning a lot of tough rallies, especially in the tie-break. It was nice to win a tie-break, especially the first set. It was a big one.

“I was more just happy with the level I was playing. I was feeling it. I was feeling good. I was really enjoying the tennis, enjoying moving the way I was, hitting the ball the way I was. That’s why I was fired up more than anything.”

Jack Draper (left) and Cameron Norrie shake hands after their match
Jack Draper (left) and Cameron Norrie shake hands after their match (John Walton/PA)

Norrie is a former world number eight and was a semi-finalist here just two years ago, but his results have nosedived this season and he has dropped outside the top 40.

However, this was a stunning – if surprising – reminder of his Wimbledon pedigree in the first meeting of the men’s British numbers one and two at a grand slam since Tim Henman beat Greg Rusedski in the 2002 Australian Open.

Norrie will face fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who he has never beaten in five attempts but who he pushed to five sets in Australia in January.

Draper, seeded at a grand slam for the first time, has yet to reach the third round at Wimbledon.

“Cam, as I know him, he’s an incredible competitor,” said the 22-year-old. “He would have wanted to come out there and really, really play well and beat me. That’s what he did.

Jack Draper lies on his back with his feet touching the net
Jack Draper was beaten by his British rival (John Walton/PA)

“Obviously with the form he’s been in, I thought he’d be a bit lower on confidence.

“But coming out there, I thought he served great. His backhand was world class. I haven’t played many players like that this year who have hit their backhand the way he hit it.

“Just his overall game was rock solid and very tough to beat.

“Maybe part of that is linked to him exposing my weaknesses and making me feel uncomfortable. All credit to him, he played great. I hope he carries on in the tournament and keeps on winning and keeps Britain’s hopes alive.”