British hopeful Cameron Norrie overcame Belgium's David Goffin 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a back-and-forth Wimbledon men's singles quarterfinal contest Tuesday that featured several momentum swings and was in doubt until the final point.
Though ranked 46 spots lower in the rankings, the veteran, 58th-ranked Goffin came into the match with more experience at latter stages of Grand Slam tournaments and that showed in the early going.
The 31-year-old Belgian won the first set thanks to a service break in the sixth game and then went up a break at 4-3 in the second set.
But backed by a highly partisan crowd, the 26-year-old Norrie stormed back at that crucial juncture of the match, winning four of the next five games and drawing level at a set apiece when the Belgian netted a forehand.
That momentum was abruptly halted, however, at the start of the third set, when Goffin began dominating the baseline rallies en route to a 4-0 lead with two service breaks.
Although the 12th-ranked Norrie closed the gap to 4-2, Goffin grabbed a two-set-to-one lead two games later when Norrie sent a backhand well over the baseline.
Goffin had notched five service breaks to that juncture of the contest, including three in the third set, and appeared poised to win his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in four attempts on the strength of that strong returning.
Instead, Norrie suddenly began comfortably controlling his service games at the start of the fourth set - a trend that mostly continued until the end of the match.
In the fourth set, the Briton did not face a single break point and snagged a critical break of serve in a 14-point eighth game.
Then in the decider, both players traded service holds for 10 games before Norrie struck again to break Goffin's serve and take a 6-5 lead.
In the final game, Goffin saved one match point with a forehand passing shot winner.
But Norrie steadied his nerves to win the final two points and reach the Wimbledon semifinals, an unexpected result for a player who had never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam event in 18 previous appearances.
In an on-court interview after the match, the Briton said the crowd's support was the key factor in the match.
"I was not feeling great and not feeling the ball and that was all credit to David. He was moving me (around) and I could not find my game," Norrie told the celebrating fans.
"Thanks to you guys, I managed to stay as patient as I could. It was all just adrenaline and I used my legs at the end and tried to put the ball in the court and it is great to get over the line, for sure."
The challenge only gets tougher in Friday's semifinals.
Norrie's next opponent will be six-time champion and top seed Novak Djokovic, who rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat talented 20-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in Tuesday's first men's semifinal contest. EFE