Despite dropping out of the first set – and with the center court crowd clamoring for the support of home favorite Norrie – it ended up being a comfortable win for Djokovic after breaking Norrie’s resistance in the second set.
This means the 35-year-old will be playing for his seventh Wimbledon title and fourth in a row having not lost at SW19 since the quarter-finals in 2017.
“I didn’t start well, he was the best player in the first set,” Djokovic said during his on-court interview after Friday’s game.
“Grand Slam semi-finals, of course, I’ve had many Grand Slam semi-finals in the past, but it’s never easy to get out on the pitch. You have a lot of pressure, expectations of yourself and of course of others as well.”
With the sun beating down and blue skies hanging over Center Court, the competition got off to a dream start for the home fans who cheered on Norrie as the Briton beat Djokovic in the opener of the match.
Djokovic responded with his own break, but that did little to deter Norrie, who was in his first Grand Slam semi-final; the ninth seed took two more breaks and completed the first set in 32 minutes.
Djokovic, meanwhile, had little to cheer about in the opening set except for a daring lob between the legs that sailed past Norrie and landed perfectly inside the baseline.
He returned to the court wearing a cap in the second set and held his first game to love. Several opportunities to break Norrie presented themselves – first at 2-1, then again at 3-2 – before the 20-time Grand Slam champion finally got the upper hand by breaking Norrie for a 5-3 lead .
After closing the set, Djokovic quickly went over the mark in the third and earned an early break when Norrie warped a long forehand.
Now Djokovic’s ground shots had more venom and precision as he began to exert his dominance over the match – even as the crowd continued to provide Norrie with dynamic support. Another break of serve followed and the set was completed in 38 minutes.
The fourth set followed a similar pattern to the third as Djokovic broke in the opener. Norrie continued to fight, winning all of his remaining service games, but to no avail. The Serb completed the win when he hit a serve out of Norrie’s reach.
Sunday will be a remarkable 32nd final for Djokovic in 68 Grand Slam appearances – one more final than rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
He will meet Kyrgios – a player he lost to in their previous two encounters – after Nadal withdrew from his semi-final against the Australian with abdominal strain.
“I think a Kyrgios-Djokovic final would be mouth-watering,” is how Kyrgios – who, at 40th in the world, is the lowest-ranked male Wimbledon finalist since 2003 – described the prospect to face Djokovic earlier. Friday.
As for Djokovic, he promised there would be “a lot of fireworks emotionally” when the pair go head-to-head.
“It will be his first Grand Slam final, he is obviously very excited,” he said. “He doesn’t have much to lose and he always plays like that. He plays so freely that he has one of the biggest serves in the game.
“Just a big game overall, lots of power in his shots. We haven’t played in a while, I’ve never won a set against him, so hopefully it will be different this time. “