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Lyon Open: Cameron Norrie beats John Isner to reach first ATP semi-final

Cameron Norrie

Britain’s Cameron Norrie claimed the biggest win of his career with victory over world number 10 John Isner in the quarter-finals of the Lyon Open.

Norrie, 22, ranked 102 in the world, overcame the second seed 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final.

He will play experienced Frenchman Gilles Simon in the clay-court event’s last four.

“I’m so stoked with my performance today,” said Norrie after his first win against a top 10 opponent.

“In the past, I haven’t been so good at playing guys with big serves.

“I remember watching Isner when I was younger. He was a big idol of mine. It’s crazy to be competing against guys like that now.”

Norrie had never played a professional match on red clay until he featured in the Davis Cup in February.

His display in that match against Spain saw him secure a victory over Roberto Bautista Agut and prompted former Great Britain captain John Lloyd to call it “one of the most impressive debuts of all time”.

Since then the left-hander has improved his world ranking and he will now move into the world’s top 100 at an expected 85.

Norrie is yet to drop a set at the event, where top seed Dominic Thiem is the only seed left in the draw.

The Austrian plays his quarter-final against Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez on Thursday afternoon.

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

For a couple of months now, Norrie has been hovering just outside the door to the world’s top 100. This week, he has opened it and burst through.

What was so impressive about this win is that he saved all four break points he faced, and converted the one and only opportunity Isner afforded him. When the 6ft 10ins American is your opponent, you don’t know when the next chance may arise.

Norrie only left Texas Christian University a year ago – suggesting he may return one day to complete his final year – and has had a remarkable start to his professional career.

He reached the second round of last year’s US Open as a qualifier, and won his first ATP title when he partnered Kyle Edmund in the doubles in Estoril earlier this month.

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BBC Sport – Tennis

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