Norrie crowned champion in Indian Wells after stunning comeback
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Cam Norrie became the first British player in history to win the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells singles title after coming back from a set and a break down to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
The 26-year-old claimed the biggest prize of his career at the ATP Masters 1000 event in California, and his second title of the year as he continues his stunning 2021 season.
Norrie – who is now officially the new British No.1 – rises to World No.16 in the ATP rankings and is currently 10th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, with a place in at this year’s World Tour Finals still very much a possibility.
“It means so much to me, my biggest title. I’m so happy. I can’t even describe it right now,” said the British star.
“It was a strange match today but absolutely massive for me and my team. I can’t really believe it.
If you’d have told me I’d have won before the tournament started I wouldn’t have believed you, so it’s amazing.”
Norrie was the first player to graduate from the LTA’s Pro-Scholarship Programme in 2019 - find out more.
With this win, Norrie becomes the first Brit to be crowned champion at an ATP Masters event since Andy Murray won in Paris back in 2016.
The Brit came into Indian Wells having never won a main draw match at the tournament but produced six stunning victories (reaching 47 on the season) to lift the title.
Norrie’s road to the Indian Wells title
- Tennys Sandgren – bt. 6-4, 5-7, 6-0
- Roberto Bautista Agut (15) – bt. 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
- Tommy Paul – bt. 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
- Diego Schwartzman (11) – bt. 6-0, 6-2
- Grigor Dimitrov (23) – bt. 6-2, 6-4
- Nikoloz Basilashvili (29) – bt. 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Norrie got off to a flying start in the final, taking advantage of a slow opening few games from the Georgian to clinch an early break at 3-1.
Basilashvili however, came back strong. He won the next five games on the spin and only dropped five points along the way.
The 29th seed – well-known for his punishing groundstrokes – overpowered the Brit with his aggressive play from the baseline and stormed to a one set lead.
After getting himself back on the board with an early hold in the second, Norrie was broken for the third time as his wayward volley saw Basilashvili take a 2-1 lead.
With everything seemingly going the way of the Georgian, Norrie picked himself up, as he has done at many times in this tournament and showed great mental strength to come back into the match.
He broke back instantly and backed it up with a much-needed hold. Momentum began to shift and the Georgian had a lucky escape in the sixth game, having to save a crucial break point.
Sensing his opportunity at 4-4, Norrie produced some of his best tennis of the match to win eight consecutive points and wrap up a tight second set.
It was all one-way traffic for Norrie in the decider. The British No.1 stayed cool and calm under the pressure and played with a level of consistency that Basilashvili just couldn’t match.
He continued to force the issue and found the answers to everything the Georgian had to throw at him. Norrie only hit four unforced errors compared to Basilashvili’s 21, which proved to be the difference as the Brits sealed the biggest win of his career in an hour and 51 minutes.
“I’ve been really enjoying my tennis and been enjoying being out on court and competing in the big moments,” said Norrie.
“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."