Former TCU tennis superstar Cameron Norrie has become a surprise king of the court at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, and his hard-fought battle into the semifinals even earned him a bow from real royalty.
Ex-Horned Frog Norrie, Britain's No. 1-ranked player and the ninth seed at Wimbledon, defeated Belgium’s David Goffin in a thrilling five-set quarterfinal match cheered on by the The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Tuesday, July 5. According to the BBC, Prince William and the former Kate Middleton (who is patron of the All-England Club) headed over to Norrie's match on Court 1 after watching Novak Djokovic win his quarterfinal match on Centre Court.
When Norrie triumphed — becoming the first British man to make it to a Wimbledon semifinal since 2016 — the future king and queen, along with a crowd of 11,000, rose their feet in ovation. They later tweeted congratulations to the TCU alum not once, but twice.
"What a match! Just brilliant @cam_norrie," read the first tweet from the official royal account.
"What a day of tennis! Fantastic to be back @Wimbledon today and wonderful to see @Cam_Norrie flying the flag in the singles!" they tweeted later.
Norrie said later that he saw the royals there. "So that's obviously very special to be playing in front of them, and obviously they had more interest in my match, which is pretty cool," he said.
He'll now face No. 1 Djokovic in Norrie's first-ever Grand Slam semifinal, Friday, July 8. (It will air live on ESPN at 9:30 am CDT.)
Shout out to Horned Frogs
As the final Brit left in the storied British tournament, Norrie has become a new national hero. Not that long ago, he was the crown jewel of TCU Men's Tennis.
Norrie, a South Africa native who was raised in New Zealand and calls London home, attended TCU on a sports scholarship from 2014-2017. The sociology student became the top-ranked male college tennis player in the United States — the first time a TCU ace claimed such an honor. The Horned Frog was named an all-American three times and earned a host of other accolades.
He left TCU in 2017 to turn pro, but still maintains strong ties to the Fort Worth school. In fact, his player box at Wimbledon has been filled with friends, family, and former TCU colleagues sporting purple and white Horned Frog gear.
In one of his earlier Wimbledon matches, ESPN commentators gave a shout-out to the Horned Frogs and wondered aloud if the British know what a "Horned Frog" is.
Before the start of Wimbledon, Norrie had told Frogs Today that playing at Wimbledon was a special experience.
"It's such a cool tournament," he said. "At first just seeing the grass, and you're just in awe of the grass and the courts, and everyone's dressed up, and people are drinking Pimm's and eating strawberries and cream. It feels like it's out of a book ..."
A book that's two match wins away from a fairytale ending for Norrie.