Indian Wells: Cameron Norrie describes Dimitrov victory as the biggest of his career

Cameron Norrie of Great Britain shakes hands with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria hands after defeating him in their match on Day 13 of the BNP Paribas...

Cameron Norrie [21] continues to defy expectations, knocking out Daniil Medvedev’s conqueror Grigor Dimitrov to earn his first Masters-level Final at Indian Wells. Ahead of the showpiece event in the early hours on Monday, the 26-year-old hailed the result as the biggest of his career.

Norrie-Basilashvili awaits in Indian Wells Final

Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia celebrates match point against Taylor Fritz during the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis...
Basilashvili, who beat Tsitsipas in the quarters, stands between Norrie and Indian Wells glory
  • Norrie level on six ATP Tour finals for 2021 with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic
  • Beat Roberto Bautista Agut [15], Diego Schwartzman [11] and others, to get to Final
  • Overtook Dan Evans as Britain’s new world no. 1, ranked #17 in the world

“Biggest win of my career for sure, he made it difficult in the second set – slicing a lot, taking my legs away – but I served well in those games, got through them and it frustrated him a little bit, so had a really good gameplan.”

Even in a field devoid of Djokovic and Nadal, critics would be lying if they claimed Norrie was one of the favourites to go deep at this year’s Indian Wells tournament. Tommy Paul‘s nerve under pressure in the final set meant a fourth-round clash vs. Andrey Rublev [4] was avoided.

But he needed to grit through three-set wins over Tennys Sandgren, Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut [15] and Paul to book an unlikely quarter-final matchup vs. Diego Schwartzman [11].

The Argentine, a semi-finalist at last year’s Roland Garros, is deadly at his best but also unpredictable. Norrie dropped just two games throughout, as long as it lasted (73 minutes).

Having beaten American youngster Brandon Nakashima in Mexico to clinch his first ATP title in July, Norrie continued where he left off in the last-eight by stunning Dimitrov in straight-sets, saying beating Schwartzman the way he did gave him confidence for the rest of this fortnight.

“The match against Diego gave me a lot of confidence and to do it in that fashion, so I felt really good and comfortable coming out today.

Came out the exact same, really physical, a lot of balls in the court and was able to dictate with my forehand and pin him to the backhand side. I’m becoming more comfortable in Indian Wells.”

We’ll see if he adds his name into history overnight against Stefanos Tsitsipas’ conqueror Nikoloz Basilashvili, who he beat during their first H2H meeting (Rotterdam, March 1).

Picture source: Getty Images — quotes via tennishead


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