Cameron Norrie has followed Heather Watson by breaking new ground to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon.
This was the sixth time in the last nine grand slams that the British number one had made it to the last 32 but – not helped by coming up against the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – he had never gone further.
He changed that in emphatic fashion against Steve Johnson though, outclassing the American 6-4 6-1 6-0 in just an hour and 49 minutes for his first Centre Court victory.
Norrie, seeded ninth, is the highest-ranked player in his quarter but he had to battle from two sets to one down to beat Spain’s Jaume Munar in the previous round.
He was a heavy favourite against world number 93 Johnson, but the big-serving 32-year-old is at his best on grass and reached the fourth round here six years ago.
Norrie probed throughout a tight first set, seeing five break points come and go before a backhand dinked neatly out of Johnson’s reach on the sixth opportunity gave it to him.
The 26-year-old had made a few uncharacteristic unforced errors on what was a huge occasion for him but winning the opening set settled him down and he was relentless in the second.
Johnson simply could not match the consistency and athleticism of Norrie, who hustled around the court retrieving almost everything, and by the beginning of the third he was looking thoroughly worn down.
Only Andy Murray among active British men had ever reached the last 16 in singles at Wimbledon but Norrie raced towards his target to set up a clash with another American, Tommy Paul, on Sunday.
Paul, 25, has had a strong grass-court season, reaching the quarter-finals at Queen’s Club and Eastbourne, but Norrie will fancy his chances of keeping home interest going well into the second week.
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