Cameron Norrie’s breakthrough season reached a high point in the California desert on Sunday with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili to become the first Briton to win the ATP Indian Wells title.
Norrie rallied from a set down to earn his career best 47th win of the season and is the first player from Great Britain to lift the trophy, achieving what former finalists Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski failed to do.
This is Norrie’s second title in his sixth ATP final of the season after winning his maiden crown earlier this year in Los Cabos.
The victory will also propel him into the top 20 in the world for the first time in his career, and move him past Daniel Evans to become the new British No. 1. “I am so happy, this is my biggest title,” said Norrie, who clinched the crown when Basilashvili belted a forehand long on the first match point.
Norrie hit just one ace had two double faults but won 77% of his first serve points and played better in the crucial moments than Basilashvili.
“It has been an incredible week. I was expecting it to be a longer match and he made a couple of errors at the end,” said Norrie.
Murray was the most recent British finalist in 2009 when he lost to Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Henman made the final twice, in 2002 and 2004 when he lost in straight sets to Roger Federer 6-3, 6-3. Canadian-born Brit Rusedski was runner-up in 1998.
Norrie was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, grew up in New Zealand before becoming the top collegiate player in the United States at Texas Christian University. He has represented Great Britain for the past eight years.—AFP