HomeCameron Norrie scores the biggest win of his career to win the Indian Wells title | Tennis

Cameron Norrie scores the biggest win of his career to win the Indian Wells title | Tennis

After an inevitable week of breakthrough at the BNP Paribas Open as the increased stakes of each new round led to a higher level of play than Cameron Norrie, Great Britain’s top men’s tennis player took one last step forward as he produced one of his most surprising Masters 1000 wins in memory. modern. From a set and breaking a deficit, Nouri recovered to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 and became the first British man to win the prestigious Indian Wells title.

In addition to the small matter of winning at the fifth-largest annual tournament on the planet – only his second ATP title – Norrie leaves Indian Wells with a new career top 16 ranking and has dragged himself firmly into the competition for the ATP Finals in Turin now in pole position. Tenth in the ATP race. Since Rafael Nadal’s injury, Nuri is only one place and 110 points out of the top eight.

“It means a lot to me, my biggest title,” Nouri said afterwards. “I’m so happy, I can’t even describe it now. It was a strange match today but it was so massive for me and my team and I really can’t believe it. If you told me I was going to win the tournament before the tournament started, I wouldn’t believe you. So, it’s amazing.”

The slow pitches in Indian Wells resulted in a final in two contrasting styles. While conditions have made Nuri stronger, making it more difficult to put the ball in front of him and help set up long rallies, Basilashvili is one of the most devastating shot-makers of the tour. Across a string of wins against ranked players, including #3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, he was one of the few hitters who managed to consistently beat the conditions.

Nuri opened the match as he has done for the two weeks, consistently making returns, lengthening rallies and working the most foul-prone Basilashvili winger, and his forehands. He broke quickly and advanced 3-1 early. But Basilashvili slowly found his group and began to impose his large weapons on Nuri. 1-3 down, he moved through five straight games to take the set and quickly went 6-3, 2-1 with a break.

But this was entirely new ground for both players, and as Nuri continued to push Basilashvili into long rallies through the courts, especially from the field between Nuri’s backhand and Basilashvili’s forehand, the Georgian slowly began to introduce more non-force fouls. Nouri broke the lead and advanced 3-2 in the second set, and confidence in his service matches increased.

The second set was basically decided by two inspirational points at 5-4 for Nuri on Basilashvili’s serve. First he moved inside the baseline, took a drop shot, then finished the long point with a perfect shot, then made a stunning backhand winning pass. Two Basilashvili mistakes later, Nuri broke for love.

Re-establishing long, turbulent rallies across the pitches while extracting blunders from an impatient Basilashvili, Nuri made one non-compulsive foul in his first three matches of the set, even recovering from a triple breaking point at 2-0 en route. 3-0 lead. With his steady momentum, Nuri refused to give up control, and broke again before serving the match easily.

“I’ve been really enjoying playing my tennis and I’ve been really enjoying being out on the court and competing in the big moments. I’m really happy with the way I handled the occasion and I think I’ve been doing it a lot this year. I know I’ve lost in a lot of finals so it’s good that I’m getting a big one today,” he said.

Nouri’s path to the top of the sport has been unique, from his initial decision to take the longer path to the professional game by entering college for the first time to the slow burn to improve his rankings he has taken since his inception. He may not have received hype from his peers for most of his career, but he stands here, claiming it through the strength of his findings.

“I still don’t really know what I’m facing,” he said. “It’s been a great two weeks and I’m very happy with the way you handled all the occasions, all the big moments, all the matches. I’m so happy, so happy to win my biggest title.”

In the exciting and tense women’s final, 23-year-old Paula Padusa of Spain recovered to defeat Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-6 (2) in over three hours and win her first-ever WTA title 1000 women tennis players. . Azarenka served in the match and led 5-4, 30-0 in the third set but lost her serve by four fouls. Padusa boldly ended the final set tiebreaker with four winners to secure a win that propelled her into the top eight in the WTA Tour race ahead of the WTA Finals in Guadalajara.