Despite the first set being lost and the Center Court crowd cheering for house favorite Norrie, Djokovic scored a comfortable victory after breaking Norrie’s resistance in the second set.
This means the 35-year-old will play for his seventh Wimbledon title and fourth in a row, having not lost at SW19 since the quarter-finals in 2017.
“I started badly, he was the best player in the first set,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview after Friday’s match.
“Grand Slam semi-finals, of course I have had many Grand Slam semi-finals in the past, but it’s never easy to get on the court. You have a lot of pressure, expectations from yourself and of course from others.”
With the sun blazing and blue skies hanging over Center Court, the match began with a dream come true for Norrie’s home supporters when the Brit broke Djokovic in the first game of the match.
Djokovic responded with a break of his own, but that did little to stop Norrie, who was in his first Grand Slam semi-final; the ninth seed took two more breaks and completed the first set in 32 minutes.
Djokovic, meanwhile, didn’t have much to celebrate in the first set, other than a cheeky cross between the legs that flew over Norrie and landed exactly an inch from the baseline.
He returned to the court in a cap in the second set and played his first game of love. Several opportunities arose to break Norrie – first at 2-1, then again at 3-2 – before the 20-time Grand Slam champion finally got the upper hand, breaking Norrie to take a 5-3 lead.
Closing out the set, Djokovic scored quickly in the third and secured an early break when Norrie skewed a long right hand.
By now, Djokovic’s punches had become more venomous and accurate as he began to dominate the match even as the crowd continued to support Norrie. Another serve break followed and the set was completed in 38 minutes.
The fourth set followed the same pattern as the third, as Djokovic broke down in the first game. Norrie continued to fight, winning every remaining service game to no avail. The Serb ended the win by pitching out of Norrie’s reach.
Sunday will mark Djokovic’s 32nd final of 68 Grand Slam appearances – one more final than rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
He will face Kyrgios – the player he lost to in the previous two meetings – after Nadal withdrew from the semi-final against the Australian with a sprained abdomen.
“I think the final between Kyrgios and Djokovic would be delicious,” said Kyrgios, who was in first place in the standings. World No. 40, the lowest-ranked Wimbledon finalist since 2003, described the prospect of facing Djokovic earlier Friday.
As for Djokovic, he promised that there would be “a lot of emotional fireworks” when the pair met.
“This will be his first Grand Slam final, obviously he’s very excited,” he said. “He has nothing to lose and he always plays like that. He plays so freely that he has one of the best serves in the game.”
“Just a great game overall, a lot of power in his shots. We haven’t played in a while, I never beat him a set, so hopefully it’ll be different this time.”