Cameron Norrie has become the first British player to win the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, storming back in the final to defeat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Norrie won 3-6 6-4 6-1 in an hour and 49 minutes, dominating the second half of the match after trailing 3-1 in the second set to seal the biggest title of his career.
Norrie, who started the tournament in the California desert ranked 26th, is now guaranteed a top-20 position for the first time and has become British No.1.
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, 26, has had a superb 2021
He has now won the so-called fifth major after his maiden title at Los Cabos, Mexico, in July, among six finals – only top ranked Novak Djokovic has played in as many deciders this year.
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.
“It means so much to me, my biggest title. I’m so happy, I can’t even describe it right now” he said in his on-court interview after the match.
“It’s absolutely massive for me and my team. I can’t really believe it.”
Hard-hitting Basilashvili took the first set and went up an early break in the second until Norrie regrouped.
In the third set, the left-handed Norrie broke early and saved three break points on his serve to take a 3-0 lead as unforced errors began to pile up for Basilashvili.
Norrie sealed the win when Basilashvili sent a forehand long on championship point.
“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,” Norrie said.
“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.”