Wimbledon week two: Britain’s hopes ride on Cameron ‘Nozza’ Norrie
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Britain’s hopes for week two of Wimbledon ride on Cameron Norrie as the only team GB singles player left in the tournament.
Fans were buoyed by the 26-year-old’s exhilarating win on Sunday against his best friend on the tour, American Tommy Paul, after a week of gradual knockouts for British stars including Emma Raducanu and Sir Andy Murray.
The new home favourite, who revealed his nickname is “Nozza”, will next appear on the hallowed grass courts on Tuesday against Belgium’s number one, David Goffin.
Great Britain’s Alicia Barnett, who has opened up to the PA news agency about how her periods affect her game and the stress of wearing Wimbledon whites, will also be returning on Tuesday in the mixed doubles, as will Heather Watson.
This year marks Barnett’s debut grand slam, and alongside British partner Jonny O’Mara, the Gloucestershire-born player took down veteran player Venus Williams and Britain’s Jamie Murray on middle Sunday.
First on Centre Court in week two will be fiery Australian Nick Kyrgios against America’s Brandon Nakashima.
This comes after the Canberra-born star beat equally-bullish Stefanos Tsitsipas in a drama-filled game which saw the players pick up three code violations between them.
Kyrgios was cautioned for swearing, while his Greek opponent breached the rules twice for smashing the ball away into the crowd.
Athens-born Tsitsipas slammed Kyrgios as “a bully” with “a very evil side” after the match, and spectators were divided over whether it was “absolutely incredible” entertainment or an “embarrassing” display of temper tantrums.
Two-time grand slam winner, Romanian Simona Halep, will take on Spaniard Paula Badosa, who has never won a grand slam but is now more highly ranked at world number four.
Tennis titan Rafael Nadal, who has 22 grand slam titles under his belt, will face the Netherlands’ Botic van de Zandschulp for Monday’s Centre Court finale.
The success of Norrie, along with previous wins from Britons Heather Watson and Katie Boulter, seemed to spark a rise in attendance after a lower-than-expected turnout over the first four days of the tournament.
Figures rose from 38,620 fans on Thursday to 42,173 tickets sold on Friday, with another slight increase on Saturday to 42,561.
Tennis-lovers said attendance in the famous Wimbledon queue for premium on-the-day tickets, which returned after a Covid-induced two-year hiatus, was at least five times lower this year than in 2019.
Fans attributed the drop to a combination of the cost-of-living crisis, fears about catching coronavirus, and the absence of eight-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer who normally draws in swathes of international observers.
Federer is recovering from knee surgery, but during a Centre Court centenary ceremony on Sunday, he returned to SW19 alongside 25 other grand slam greats and revealed he is hoping to play one last time in 2023.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) told the Daily Telegraph it is considering making the queue partly digital in response to the sudden dip in popularity – something superfans told PA would be “a disastrous idea”.
They opposed an additional virtual queue in any form, saying it would detract from the atmosphere and allow people to claim tickets easily, only to drop them later.