Cameron Norrie has become the first British player to win in a final at Indian Wells with a three-sets victory in the BNP Paribas Open against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The 26-year-old won 3-6 6-4 6-1 in an hour and 49 minutes, fighting back after trailing 3-1 when down an early break in the second set to storm to his second career title in his finest year on the circuit.
“It means so much to me, my biggest title. 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,” he said in his on-court interview after the match.
“I was a little bit uncomfortable (early). It was quite windy. For a stage he went through and hit so many winners. It was tough for me to get some confidence. The rallies were really short and he was just blasting winners.
“When I made a couple of big shots in the 5-4 game in the second set it gave me a lot of confidence, and I was able to find my feet again, start moving again, and make the rallies physical like I’ve been doing all tournament and it worked in my favour.”
Norrie, who started the week ranked 26th, is now guaranteed a top-20 position and has become British number one.
He was the first Briton to reach the final at one of the ATP’s nine elite Masters 1000 events since Andy Murray triumphed in Paris in 2016.
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 this year’s Australian and French opens, and to Roger Federer at Wimbledon.