Despite dropping the first set – and the Center Court crowd screaming in support of home favorite Norrie – it ended up being a comfortable victory for Djokovic after he broke Norrie’s resistance in the second set.
It means the 35-year-old will be going 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, the first set I was the better player,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview after Friday’s match.
“Grand Slam semi-finals, of course I’ve had a lot of Grand Slam semi-finals in the past, but it’s never easy to go out on court. You have a lot of pressure, expectations from yourself and of course from others.
With the sun setting and blue skies hanging over Center Court, the match got off to a dream start for the home fans rooting for Norrie as the Briton broke Djokovic in the first game of the match.
Djokovic responded with a break of his own, but that did little to deter Norrie, who was playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final; the ninth seed took two more breaks and took the first set in 32 minutes.
Djokovic, meanwhile, didn’t have much to celebrate in the first set apart from an audacious between-the-legs lob that flew past Norrie and landed toe-perfect on the baseline.
In the second set, he returned to the court wearing a cap and held his first game to love. There were several opportunities to break Norrie – first at 2-1, then again at 3-2 – before the 20-time Grand Slam champion finally took the lead by breaking Norrie for a 5-3 lead.
After closing out the set, Djokovic was quickly off the mark in the third and secured an early break when Norrie fired a long forehand.
Now Djokovic’s groundstrokes were more venomous and precise as he began to assert his dominance in the match – even as the crowd continued to support Norrie. Another break in service followed and the set was finished in 38 minutes.
The fourth set followed a similar pattern to the third, with Djokovic breaking in the opening game. Norrie fought on, winning all remaining service games, but it was to no avail. The Serbian completed the victory when he hit a serve out of Norrie’s reach.
Sunday will be Djokovic’s remarkable 32nd final in 68 Grand Slam appearances – one more than rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
He will face Kyrgios – a player he has lost to in both of his previous matches – after Nadal pulled out of the semi-final against the Australian with an abdominal strain.
“I think a Kyrgios-Djokovic final would be mouth-watering,” Kyrgios, who at world No. 40 is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon men’s finalist since 2003, described the prospect of facing Djokovic. Friday.
As for Djokovic, he promised there would be “a lot of fireworks” emotionally when the pair meet.
“It will be his first Grand Slam final, he’s obviously very excited,” he said. “He doesn’t have much to lose and he plays like that all the time. He plays so freely, he has one of the biggest serves in the game.
“A great match overall, a lot of power in his shots. We haven’t played for a while, I’ve never won a set against him, so hopefully this time it can be different.”