Wimbledon 2022 preview: Goffin v Norrie

 - Reem Abulleil

Belgian and home favourite square off for place in maiden major semi

David Goffin, Wimbledon 2022, fourth round©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Belgian veteran David Goffin and British world No.12 Cameron Norrie will meet in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Here's a close look at their routes to the last-eight stage, their build-up to the Championships and lots more.

A long road back

Until last month, former world No.7 Goffin had not competed on grass since 2019, when he lost in the quarter-finals to Novak Djokovic. The pandemic in 2020 wiped out the Championships and an ankle injury ruled him out of the grass season in 2021.

A knee problem kept Goffin out of action from August 2021 to January 2022 and he’s currently on the comeback trail, with a clay title under his belt, clinched in Morocco during the spring, and a second consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final in the books.

The Belgian earned his place in the last eight after a gruelling 4hr 36min five-set win over Frances Tiafoe on Sunday, which improved his career record in five-setters to 14-5.

“It means a lot. For me, it's almost like back-to-back quarter-finals. The last time I played before this year was the quarter-final against Novak on Centre Court in 2019,” explained Goffin, who is ranked 58 in the world this week.

Novak Djokovic & David Goffin / Quarts de finale Wimbledon 2019©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

“I was very excited to come back here because it's very important tournament for me because it's probably my favourite tournament of the year, place that I love, surface that I can play really well. I had some great results on that surface. It means a lot.

“Especially last year was a tough year for me with some injuries. I stop for four or five months at the end of the year. At the beginning of the year I had to fight and stay positive to come back to my best level.”

Gunning for firsts

Both Goffin and Norrie will be seeking a maiden Grand Slam semi-final on Tuesday.

Goffin is contesting the fourth major quarter-final of his career while Norrie hadn’t made it past the third round in any of his previous 18 Grand Slam appearances.

The 31-year-old Goffin is playing his 38th major and is searching for a first semi-final at this stage, 10 years after making his Grand Slam debut (at Roland-Garros 2012).

Shouldering expectations

Norrie is the last Brit standing in either singles draws at Wimbledon and as his nation’s top-ranked player, has already been handling the occasion remarkably well.

The No.9 seed won three of his four matches so far in straight sets – needed five to defeat Jaume Munar in round two – and will be counting on his home crowd to rally behind him when he faces Goffin on Tuesday.

“I'll take it (the pressure). At the beginning of the tournament, you guys were asking me, ‘You're British No.1, you got a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations on your shoulders’. For me to play the way that I did in all my matches so far means a lot,” said the 26-year-old Norrie on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, yeah, I'm the last one standing. But I think it's even more reason for everyone to get behind me.”

Norrie, who cracked the top 10 for the first time this season in April, is the fifth British man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals and the first since Andy Murray in 2017.

His compatriot Heather Watson paid tribute to Norrie's work ethic and game, and hopes he can go all the way.

"I've been impressed with Cam for so long. He is so low-key, under the radar. I think he deserves more attention firstly because he's such a great example," Watson said on Sunday.

"He is everything that your coaches and your parents ask of you. His work ethic, his focus, his dedication, how he invests in himself. He's just the perfect example that you want your kids aspire to be. He really is. And he's a great person, as well.

So I really hope he can go far."

Experience on grass

Goffin, who is 28-21 lifetime at tour level on grass, is competing in his eighth Wimbledon while Norrie is contesting his fifth.

The Belgian’s best previous results on the turf were making the finals in Halle in 2019 and s-Hertogenbosch in 2015.

Norrie, who owns a 16-13 record on grass, made was runner-up to Matteo Berrettini on the lawns of the Queen’s Club last season.

“He's a very experienced player. He really likes the grass. He's played a lot of big matches,” Norrie said of Goffin ahead of their clash.

“It's going to be tough. He's a great competitor, really good athlete. He's got a very complete game. He must be playing very well, so it's going to be a tricky one. He's been in the situation more than me. I'm looking forward to it. It's another battle.

“One thing for sure, I know that I'm going to get into a lot of rallies with him. He's not going to come and serve me off the court, which is good. It's going to be another physical match, which is great for me.

“I'm looking forward to competing. It's going to be another huge challenge.”


Norrie defeated Goffin in their sole previous meeting, on clay in Barcelona last year, which ended with the Belgian retiring while down a set but leading by a break in the second.

Goffin has spent more time on court so far this fortnight, needing more than 11 hours to make it to the quarters, while Norrie made it through after 9hr 26min of play.

Norrie has held in 56 of his 63 service games so far at these Championships and has broken serve 25 times.

Goffin has been broken 13 times but has been strong behind his first serve, winning 75 per cent of the points behind that shot.

David Goffin, Wimbledon 2022, fourth round©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

‘Ready to play against the whole country’

The 31-year-old Goffin is looking forward to a tough duel in front of a crowd that will be heavily supporting his opponent.

The match has been scheduled for No.1 Court, but Goffin was hoping for another Centre Court outing.

“I have another opportunity to play on Centre Court to try to have a win, finally to have a win on Centre Court. I didn't have any chances. I had Murray and I had Djokovic. Not easy,” said Goffin with a smile on Sunday.

“Another British, against Cameron. He played less than me. I think he was straight sets. He played well from the start of the tournament. He played really well. He's very consistent. He's a tough opponent to play.

“But I will try to recover. That's the most important now, today and tomorrow, try to be ready to play against the whole country.”