Cameron Norrie Defeats Nikoloz Basilashvili to Win 2021 Indian Wells Men's Final

Doric SamOctober 18, 2021

Cameron Norrie, of Britain, reacts after winning a point against Nikoloz Basilashvili, of Georgia, in the singles final at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Sunday's BNP Paribas Open men's final was a back-and-forth affair at Indian Wells, California, that saw Cameron Norrie rally past Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

It is Norrie's first ATP Masters 1000 title, and he became the first British player to win at Indian Wells. It was his second win of the 2021 season following July's Los Cabos Open victory and his sixth final.

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Cam can do ✌️<br><br>The moment <a href="https://twitter.com/cam_norrie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cam_norrie</a> became the first British player to win the <a href="https://twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BNPPARIBASOPEN</a> men's singles title. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BNPPO21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BNPPO21</a> <a href="https://t.co/52g3GNkxKC">pic.twitter.com/52g3GNkxKC</a>

The 26-year-old was the No. 21 seed in the tournament. With the win, Norrie will likely replace Daniel Evans as the new British No. 1 on Monday.

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Norrie. "Massive moment for me. Still can't believe. If you had told me before the tournament that I would be the champ, I wouldn't believe".

Norrie jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first set, but Basilashvili converted two break points and rattled off five straight wins. Basilashvili, who was the tournament's No. 29 seed, had his backhand working for him early and won 10 of the last 11 points. It was the first time in the tournament that Norrie dropped the opening set. The first set blew by in just 30 minutes.

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A Basilashvili backhand so good you need to see it twice... 🔥<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BNPPO21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BNPPO21</a> <a href="https://t.co/DZEXMUrvQG">pic.twitter.com/DZEXMUrvQG</a>

Norrie and Basilashvili traded points in the second set. But Norrie won the last eight points and broke Basilashvili's serve to force a deciding third set with an incredible rally.

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There's no quit in this man 💪<br><br>🎥: <a href="https://twitter.com/TennisTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TennisTV</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/cam_norrie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cam_norrie</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BNPPO21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BNPPO21</a><a href="https://t.co/JWNANyFTku">pic.twitter.com/JWNANyFTku</a>

Basilashvili seemed to run out of gas in the third set. He had a chance to break at 0-2, but Norrie continued to play great defense as he had all match. Basilashvili had 22 unforced errors in the final set.

Norrie said the weather caused some of the early adversity, and he praised Basilashvili for how he started the match.

"I was a little bit uncomfortable. It was quite windy and... for a stage he went through, he hit so many winners and it was tough for me to get some confidence on my rally balls because the rallies were really short," Norrie said on the broadcast post-match. "He was just blasting winners, so when I made a couple of those big shots at that 5-4 game in the second set it gave me a lot of confidence.

“I was able to find my feet and start moving again. I made the rallies physical like I'd been doing all tournament and it worked in my favor."

With Sunday's win, Norrie jumped to a career-best No. 16 in the world rankings.

"I've been really enjoying my tennis and been enjoying being out on court and competing in the big moments," he said. "I'm just really pleased with how I handled the occasion. I think I'm doing a lot better with that this year. I lost a lot of those finals, so it's nice to get the big one today."


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