Roger Federer survives an incredible Cameron Norrie comeback to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon.

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Roger Federer survives an incredible Cameron Norrie comeback to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon.

Cameron Norrie tried everything he could to run Roger Federer off Centre Court with his incredible fitness and speed, but he ultimately fell short against sheer greatness.

With 31 victories and a new rating of 34, the British No 2 has had an outstanding year. Fitness was never going to be enough against eight-time winner Roger Federer on its own, but Norrie fought valiantly and lost 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Federer hasn’t looked his best this event – he was battling in the first round until Adrian Mannarino was forced to withdraw due to injury – but the great Swiss appears to be gradually regaining his form and rhythm.

Norrie got off to a shaky start, with three double faults in his opening service game, but he fought to the finish, as we expected from a man who ran 10,000 kilometers every day during the first lockdown. Federer’s tremendous class, unfailing serve, and deadly accuracy, on the other hand, were simply too much.

When a Norrie first serve hit a boy in the crowd in the face, the 25-year-old offered the youngster his towel to help him feel better.

The pressure was intense on Norrie from the start, but the South African-born battler held up well until the seventh game, when he cracked, and the first set was over. In the second, it was a similar narrative, but this time he crumbled in the third game, and Federer never gave up.

Emma Raducanu had given British tennis its finest boost of the year with her amazing triumph over Sorana Cirstea just minutes before Norrie walked the court – but the Centre Court still adores Federer after all these years, so Norrie never experienced the huge flood of affection the 18-year-old received. Despite this, the British footballer received a lot of support.

Norrie needed to refocus after falling behind two sets to one, but he held his composure well to lead 4-3 and then save two break points to lead 6-5.

Suddenly, he had three set points as he broke Federer to love – and, miraculously, he was in the fourth set from an obviously hopeless position. As Norris attempted to energise the crowd, it was a fantastic comeback.

Is it possible that the match is about to change? Norrie commits yet another costly double fault. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”

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