British tennis player Cameron Norrie beats Nikoloz Basilashvili in Indian Wells final
Written by Sky News UK on October 18, 2021
Cameron Norrie has become the first British tennis player to win the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
The 26-year-old beat Nikoloz Basilashvill in the “fifth-major” final on Sunday night in a three-set victory.
Norrie lost the first set to the Georgian 3-6 and was down a break at 3-1 in the second set when he fought back, recovering to win the match with 6-4 6-1.
The player, who started the week ranked 26th, is now guaranteed a top-20 position and has become Britain’s new number one.
He was the first British player to reach the final at one of the ATP’s nine elite Masters 1000 events since Andy Murray triumphed in Paris in 2016.
“It means so much to me, my biggest title,” he said in his on-court interview after the match.
“I’m so happy, I can’t even describe it right now. It’s absolutely massive for me and my team. I can’t really believe it.”
Norrie’s latest success caps a break-out year.
Not only has he won Indian Wells and taken his first title at Los Cabos, Mexico, he has also made six finals – a feat matched only by world number one Novak Djokovic.
The Briton reached four other finals on three different surfaces – on the hardcourts of San Diego, the grass of Queen’s, and on clay in Lyon and Estoril.
“I’ve been really enjoying my tennis and really been enjoying being out on court and competing in the big moments,” he said.
“I’m just really pleased with how I handled the occasion, and I think I’m doing that a lot better this year. I know I lost in a lot of finals so it’s nice to get the big one today.”
Norrie said before the final he hoped his impressive run this week would be a springboard for going deeper into grand slams next year, having never made it into the second week of one of the big four tournaments.
This year he suffered third round losses to Rafael Nadal at the Australian and French opens, and to Roger Federer at Wimbledon.