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Cameron Norrie’s quarter-final defeat ends British hopes at Queen’s Club

Cameron Norrie’s bid for a first grass-court title was ended by Sebastian Korda in the quarter-finals of the cinch Championships.

The British number one and fifth seed was beaten 6-4 7-6 (1) by American Korda, the world number 32.

His defeat means there will be no British interest, in singles or doubles, going into the weekend at Queen’s Club for the first time since 2012.

Cameron Norrie and Sebastian Korda shake hands
Cameron Norrie and Sebastian Korda shake hands (Adam Davy/PA)

Korda, who also accounted for British number two Dan Evans in the first round, broke Norrie for 3-2 and had another break point for 5-2 in the opening set.

Norrie wriggled out of that tight spot with a pair of aces, but he was unable to prevent Korda wrapping up the set in 37 minutes.

Norrie, runner-up here in 2021 and a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, hauled a break back for 3-3 in the second, the first time he had got anywhere near the Korda serve.

But Korda, the son of former Australian Open winner Petr and brother of major champion golfer Nelly, raced away with the tie-break to reach the last four on his Queen’s debut.

Norrie’s form has dipped since he won the Rio Open, beating Carlos Alcaraz, in February, and he could only make the third round of the French Open.

But he said: “I’m feeling like I definitely turned a corner after the clay. I’ve had really good preparation. I was feeling really good in the last couple weeks, and then I played three really good matches.

“You know, it was not my best performance today, but I feel like I’m definitely improving.

“In the big moments I think I haven’t been playing as well as I was earlier in the year. So now I’m looking to get back to preparing for Wimbledon.”

Korda’s victory set up a meeting with top seed and world number two Alcaraz in the semi-final.

cinch Championships 2023 – Day Five – The Queen’s Club
Carlos Alcaraz beat Grigor Dimitrov (Adam Davy/PA)

The 22-year-old, who recently recovered from three months out with a wrist injury, said: “It’s massive. I’m playing really well on grass, I feel comfortable and I’m really enjoying myself here.

“As many matches as I can get, I’m always super happy. Everything is clicking right now.”

Alcaraz beat the only former champion still in the field, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4 6-4.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, playing in only his third grass-court tournament, said: “The work that I put in and the matches that I’ve played at a great level helped me a lot coming into this tough match.

Sebastian Korda is through to the semi-finals
Sebastian Korda is through to the semi-finals (Adam Davy/PA)

“Grigor is a top player on any surface, but especially on grass. But I played really well from the beginning to the last ball.

“I’m a guy who learns quite fast and I’m feeling really comfortable playing on grass.”

Saturday’s first semi-final will see Alex De Minaur face Danish second seed Holger Rune.

Australian De Minaur was watched by his girlfriend, Britain’s Katie Boulter, as he beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4 4-6 6-4.

Rising star Rune, 20, got past Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 7-5 in a match spiced up when the Italian smashed an overhead straight at him.

“He can do what he wants,” said Rune. “I mean, it’s not the best thing to do, for sure. But again, it is legal. He can hit the ball where he wants to.

“It just gave me fire in the belly to beat him even more. I’m super happy to manage to beat him in two sets. It feels good. I’m in the semi-final, he’s not. So I’m happy.”

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