Sat, 04 Dec 2021

Cameron Norrie wins championship at Indian Wells

Field Level Media
18 Oct 2021, 13:55 GMT+10

Cameron Norrie outlasted Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday, becoming the first man outside the top 25 to win at Indian Wells, Calif., since Ivan Ljubicic took home the title in 2010.

Ranked No. 26 entering the event, the southpaw from Great Britain earned his second title this season and became an ATP Masters 1000 champion for the first time in taking the BNP Paribas Open.

"I'm so happy," Norrie said during his on-court interview. "I can't even describe it right now. It was a strange match today, but absolutely massive for me and my team. I can't really believe it.

"If you had told me I'd have won before the tournament started, I wouldn't have believed you, so it's amazing."

With the victory, Norrie moved up to 10th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. Norrie needed one hour, 51 minutes to dispose of Basilashvili -- the second time he's defeated him as a pro.

After dropping the opening set for the first time all tournament, Norrie rallied to take the final two sets in earning the victory. The 26-year-old raised his hands in victory and exhaled after Basilashvili's final backhand flew long on match point.

Norrie defeated Tennys Sandgren, Roberto Bautista Agut, Tommy Paul, Diego Schwartzman and Grigor Dimitrov before handling Basilashvili in the final.

With the victory, Norrie rose to No. 1 in Britain and a career-high No. 16 in the world after starting the year ranked No. 74. Norrie has reached six finals and won 47 matches this season. He dedicated the win to his parents.

Norrie also became the first player from Britain to win at Indian Wells. Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski of Britain all had made the men's final at Indian Wells previously, but all of them finished as the runner-up.

"I've been really enjoying my tennis and been enjoying being out on court and competing in the big moments," Norrie said. "I'm just really pleased with how I handled the occasion. I think I'm doing a lot better with that this year. I lost a lot of those finals, so it's nice to get the big one today."

The combined ATP and WTA tour event was one of the first major sporting events canceled in March of last year due to COVID-19. The event will return to its usual spot on the calendar in March 2022.

--Field Level Media

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