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Maiden victory at SW19 is a very special feeling, says Norrie

Home comforts: Cameron Norrie in action at Wimbledon
Home comforts: Cameron Norrie in action at Wimbledon

By Jonathan Veal

Cameron Norrie admits he never envisaged himself winning matches at Wimbledon when he was growing up.

The 23-year-old finally got his maiden victory at SW19 when he beat Denis Istomin 6-2 6-4 6-4 yesterday, having suffered first-round defeats in the last two years.

Growing up in New Zealand, the British No.2 did not watch much tennis so never shared the same dreams of playing at the All England Club that so many other professionals talk about.

But he has come to love his home Grand Slam and was delighted to get off the mark.

"I watched Wimbledon, but wasn't the biggest tennis fan growing up," he said. "I watched a lot of other sports. I watched a lot of rugby growing up in New Zealand.

"I know Wimbledon is such a special tournament. I think all the players love it here, it is one of the best slams, for sure.

"Just the feeling of being out there on the grass, all the courts have been taken so well care of. It's a very special tournament.

"I didn't think I'd be winning matches at Wimbledon. So I'll definitely take that. I'm happy."

Norrie arrived at Wimbledon having been left seriously disappointed by his display at the French Open, where he lost to home qualifier Elliot Benchetrit, winning just five games.

He felt like he didn't give it his all, and was not prepared to repeat that mistake at Wimbledon.

"I was disappointed, not because I lost, just kind of the way I didn't kind of battle for every point, I didn't feel kind of myself that day," he said. "That was the thing I was most disappointed for. It wasn't a great French Open for me, but I definitely won't make that mistake again.

"I'll learn from it. I'm happy to get my first win in Wimbledon."

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem became the latest high-profile first-round casualty after losing to Sam Querrey.

Thiem took the first set but crashed 6-7 (4) 7-6 (1) 6-3 6-0 to towering American Querrey.

The Austrian joined sixth seed Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded seventh, on the SW19 scrapheap.

Never the most comfortable on grass, Thiem hit the skids when Querrey raced through the second-set tie-break.

Querrey reeled off the final nine games of the match as Thiem bowed out in round one for the second time in two years.

• Bernard Tomic again faced questions about his effort levels after losing the shortest men's singles match at Wimbledon for 15 years.

The controversial Australian lasted only 58 minutes against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round, going down 6-2 6-1 6-4.

Two years ago Tomic was fined more than £11,000 and dumped by his racket sponsor after saying in a press conference following a first-round loss to Mischa Zverev that he had felt bored during the match and had called the trainer when he was not injured.

Tomic said: "I think I played as best as I could. It's just I played terrible.

"I knew if I didn't feel good, I'd lose this match quickly. It's not like we're going to have a lot of rallies out there."

Belfast Telegraph


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