Cameron Norrie reaches Indian Wells final by beating Grigor Dimitrov


Cameron Norrie is expected to make the world’s top 20 for the first time when the rankings are released on Monday
Dated: Sunday 17th October Time: 00:00 BST (Monday 18 October) Place: Indian Wells Tennis Garden, California
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Briton Cameron Norrie reached his first Masters 1000 final at Indian Wells, overtaking Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.

The world number 26 dominated the semi-final to win 6-2 6-4 in California.

Norrie’s run means he will replace Dan Evans as Britain’s number one and on Sunday he will challenge the biggest title of his career.

The 26-year-old will face world number 36 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final, after beating American Taylor Fritz.

The Georgian won 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to qualify for his first final at this level.

“I’m getting more and more comfortable at Indian Wells and it’s definitely the biggest win of my career,” Norrie told Amazon Prime.

“He made it tough in the second set. I managed to serve well in those games and get through them. I think I had a really good game plan today.”

The success in the prestigious Indian Wells tournament comes three months after Norrie won her first ATP singles title at the Los Cabos Open in Mexico.

This is the sixth final Norrie has reached on tour this year and the game against world number 28 Dimitrov was the 46th he has won in an impressive season.

Norrie has also reached the third round of every Grand Slam except the US Open in 2021 and is now set to enter the world top 20 for the first time when the latest rankings are released on Monday.

After making his way through a demanding opener to break Dimitrov’s serve, Norrie gained his confidence.

Two quick catches and another break put the Briton 4-0 before the momentum briefly changed hands.

Dimitrov won two games in a row, but the 30-year-old threw a wide forehand to immediately give Norrie another break, who completed the opening set in 31 minutes.

A long opener in the second set ultimately went to the indefatigable Norrie as he called for an early break.

Dimitrov put up more resistance as the set progressed, but Norrie showed courage to save the breaking point and from there he remained calm to hold on serve and wrap up the win.

If Norrie emerges victorious in Sunday’s final (00:00 BST Monday), he could give himself a chance to advance to the season-end ATP finals in Turin.

The women’s final will also take place on Sunday and will include Paula Badosa and Victoria Azarenka.

“It was good to show Laver that I can play tennis properly”

Rod Laver was in the crowd watching the semi-final and Norrie said he was grateful for the chance to prove himself in front of great Australian tennis.

The Briton explained that the last time Laver saw him play was in the San Diego Open final earlier this month, when he lost 6-0 6-2 to the Norwegian Casper Ruud.

“It’s so special to have him here,” Norrie said.

“I was destroyed by Casper in that one [in San Diego] and I thought, ‘he must think I’m awful at gambling.’ It was nice to come here and show him that I can actually play good tennis. “


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

There were flashes of Dimitrov’s brilliance, but he was far too erratic and Norrie rarely offered him a break.

A class of his own in the first four games, Norrie continued to serve well and attack when he could. He missed a comfortable winner on a very hot day in the desert.

No Briton has ever won the Indian Wells title. If Norrie is successful, he will climb into the top 16 in the world and give himself a realistic chance of qualifying for the season-end ATP Finals.

This will be his sixth final of the season: a club in which he has only world number one Novak Djokovic for company.

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