A Briton’s hopes of a Wimbledon men’s singles final were dashed after Cameron Norrie lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.
The ninth seed lost to the favorite in four sets despite a chanting and applauding Center Court crowd rooting for victory.
Djokovic will face Nick Kyrgios in Sunday’s final after his semi-final opponent Rafael Nadal is out due to injury.
“I didn’t start very well, [Norrie] was the better player in the first set,” Djokovic said after the win.
“I’ve had a lot of Grand Slam semi-finals in the past, but it’s never easy to get on the court.
“Cameron had nothing to lose, he probably played the tournament of his life and obviously playing at home is never easy, but I wish him all the best. He’s a great player and I have a lot of respect for him.”
It is Djokovic’s 32nd appearance in a Grand Slam final, but he said the “job is not done yet”.
Speaking about his upcoming match against Kyrgios, the Serbian said: “One thing is for sure, there will be a lot of emotional fireworks for both of us.
“It will be his first Grand Slam final, obviously he is very excited and he has nothing to lose and he always plays like that.
“We haven’t played in a while and I’ve never won a set against him, so hopefully this time it can be different.”
Norrie was aiming to become the first British player to reach the Wimbledon final since Andy Murray won in 2016.
He got off to a perfect start with a break of serve in the first game of the match, drawing a loud roar from the crowd as he leapt into the air with a fist pump.
Djokovic didn’t react in a similar way when he immediately got a break.
But Nori seeded the first set twice more and won the first set 6-2.
The second set was much closer until Nori slipped on the court and lost his form, and Djokovic won 6-3.
Djokovic then broke Nori again early in the third set, winning it 6-2.
Nori fought back admirably in the fourth set, but Djokovic pulled ahead to win 6-4.
After the last unreturned serve on a match point, Djokovic turned to part of the crowd and blew them kisses, prompting a chorus of boos, before celebrating reaching his eighth Wimbledon final.
British hopes are alive
It comes after Britain’s Alfie Hewett captured Wimbledon with a remarkable comeback to reach his first wheelchair men’s singles final.
The crowd on court one erupted as Hewett staged his extraordinary turnaround to beat Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.
Now, in Sunday’s final, the world No. 2 meets Japan’s No. 1 seed Shingo Kunieda.
“It was unbelievable – I’ve never felt anything like it before,” the 24-year-old said in an emotional on-court interview.
After his quarter-final win on Thursday, Hewett said he was disappointed the game was played on Court 14 instead of the “show” court.
And just a few hours before the match, a substitution took place.
“I was actually asleep at 9.30 last night and the refs kept calling me,” Hewett said.
“I thought it’s probably no big deal, just leave it – and it was actually a trial for trial alone, so as soon as I found out about it, I didn’t sleep after that!”