Cameron Norrie is the last British player standing at Queen’s after seeing off teenage compatriot Jack Draper… as Dan Evans is knocked out by Andy Murray’s conqueror Matteo BerrettiniCameron Norrie praised Jack Draper after beating the 19-year-old 6-3, 6-3Norrie will play Dennis Shapovalov or Francis Tiafoe, with the Canadian a set upDan Evans was eliminated by Italian Matteo Berrettini 7-6, 6-3 in west London British No 1 Evans won’t play at Eastbourne before heading to Wimbledon
Of all Cam Norrie’s 28 tour victories this year, few will have been achieved in less comfortable circumstances than yesterday evening.
It was in a near-deserted stadium on a strangely wintry evening at Queen’s Club, facing a surging young compatriot with an assortment of weapons to hurt him.
Yet still Norrie had plenty enough to see off 19-year-old Jack Draper 6-3, 6-3 to make the semi-finals of the cinch Championships and become the last Brit standing, following the earlier departure of Dan Evans.
Cameron Norrie (right) proved too strong for Jack Draper to reach the Queen’s semi-finals
Norrie is now the only Briton left in the tournament after the elimination of Dan Evans
In this battle of the GB southpaws the more mature competitor was more solid, and aggressive from the baseline.
He was also favoured by the sluggish, frigid conditions which were such a stark contrast to 24 hours previously. It was so dark by the end, a batsman would have long since appealed the light.
Norrie is awaiting the winner of Frances Tiafoe and Denis Shapovalov, who will come back at noon today after play was suspended with the Canadian having won the first set 6-3.
Draper, who became slightly frustrated in the second set, left Queen’s last night with his ranking and reputation much enhanced. He also takes away a stack of invaluable experience that will serve him well as he continues towards what should be an exciting future.
As for Norrie, the British No 2 will head into Wimbledon with the fourth most wins of any player on the ATP tour this season and close to the top 10 based on results in 2021. This will be his first semi-final on home soil, but his fourth of the year across three surfaces.
Norrie was duly impressed with his opponent afterwards, saying: ‘He was serving big, came at me and congrats to him on his week. I think he is going to have a wonderful career.
Evans wasn’t too downhearted despite losing in straight sets to Italian Matteo Berrettini
‘I played really well towards the end of the first set. It was getting slippery near the end, but I served well when I needed to and it came down to who won the big points. I’m really happy with the way I’m playing.’
On a late afternoon that was much more Solihull than Sorrento, Evans lost out in the battle of the British and Italian No 1s, beaten 7-6, 6-3 by top seed Matteo Berrettini, who had already seen off Andy Murray.
Torrential rain had delayed the start of the quarter-finals until 4.30pm, further thinning out a crowd already depleted by the distancing required in the enormous temporary stands.
Those who stayed were regularly warmed by the craft of Evans, who could never quite contain the force of his physically imposing opponent.
Nonetheless, his grass court game looks in decent enough shape to improve his recent poor showing at Grand Slams when Wimbledon comes around.
Evans is opting not to play at Eastbourne next week, saying: ‘I’m there or thereabouts where I want to be on the grass, I will get away for a few days and live normally.
Berrettini had seen off Andy Murray earlier in the competition and faces Alex de Minaur next
‘I didn’t think I did too much wrong, conditions were a bit slow, which helped him. I’m frustrated as I was ahead in the tiebreak but he is a class player. I think I’ve prepared well to give myself an opportunity at Wimbledon.’
He had managed to take Berrettini into a tiebreak after rescuing himself from two early service games that went to 0-40.
Once there, the Brit got a mini-break to go 4-2 up and looked to have won next point with an exquisite lob, only for Berrettini to sprint back and retrieve it, winning the ensuing rally.
That flipped the tiebreak, with Evans framing a double fault at 4-3 after receiving a time violation, and Berrettini edged it 7-5 on the first set point.
The chance gone, Berrettini was solid enough from the baseline to get the decisive break at 4-3 in the second set. He plays Australian Alex de Minaur this afternoon.
At the Viking Classic in Birmingham the rain ensured there could be no play, meaning a busy weekend ahead for those surviving into the quarter-finals. Among them was British No 2 Heather Watson, who is due to face Croatia’s Donna Vekic.
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