- British rising star Cam Norie beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final at Indian Wells
- Shock tournament win in the US has earned him £880,000 in prize money
- He is now eyeing a spot among the world’s top stars in the ATP Finals
- Her success at Indian Wells came after Emma Radukanu won the US Open
Another spectacular tale of the unexpected for British tennis, on top of Emma Radukanu’s US Open title, Cam Norie claimed the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The 26-year-old left-hander completed the most unexpected double on Monday morning when, close to the opposite coast, he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win his first Masters level title.
Failing the immense power of his 36th-place opponent, Nori made a strong comeback and carried on his argument for being the best men’s player of the season.
Cam Nori celebrates after winning the final point of the match against Nikoloz Basilashvilik
Britain proudly holds the Indian Wells Trophy, and also takes home £880,000 in prize money
Nori kisses his girlfriend Louise Jacobi on court after the biggest win of her career
He started the year listed at 74 and this season’s results are number 10 in the world, too high for the top eight men to make it to the ATP Finals in Turin at the end of next month.
His skill earned him £880,000 from this tournament, and he was one better off than Andy Murray, Tim Heineman and Greg Ruseski, who made it to the finals of the event.
She did it all while playing a match in an emergency new pair of tennis shoes: ‘I left my shoes on the locker. I think someone, maybe one of the scavengers came and threw away the three pairs that I had with me,’ he said. ‘It took them a while to get used to.’
Referring to an incident earlier in the tournament with Andy Murray, he said: ‘I don’t know what people have against the Brits with the stolen shoes, but I couldn’t manage to get them back. Luckily I didn’t have a wedding ring.’
By the time he eliminated Georgians, the day had turned into night, who, like other opponents here, were spoiled by Norrie’s athletic baseline defense.
Like Radukanu, he didn’t beat a top ten player in 2021 to win his biggest title from six finals, but he tackled everything that was thrown at him in a very calm manner. Achievement should not be underestimated.
Basilashvili is ranked 36th in the world, but Nori came from a set-down to defeat Georgian.
A British flag is draped on the back of Norrie, celebrating his grand victory in California
“It means a lot to me, I’m so happy I can’t describe it right now,” he said after the 109-minute win. ‘It’s amazing. If you had told me that I would have won before the tournament started, I would not have believed you.
‘It was quite windy and in the early stages he hit so many winners that it was hard for me to believe my rally balls.
‘I put my feet up and make the rallies physical like I’m doing here. I am competing in the big moments, this year I am doing something better.
He now heads back to London and then Europe to play indoors, and tries to cement his place in the season-ending finale.
The climax of the tournament again saw fewer crowds, due to a number of factors including the once changed date and the reduced number of residents arriving for the winter in the California desert.
Norrie’s success comes just weeks after Emma Radukanu won the incredible US Open
Nori is now moving into the men’s top 10 and has cemented her spot as British No. 1
The match always experienced a brawl versus brawl, requiring Norrie to counter the power of Basilashvili, one of the most powerful groundstrokers on the tour, whose modus operandi is to hit the ball as hard as he can. , especially towards the forehand.
The new British number one did exactly that in the opening exchanges and started the same way as their previous round, taking a 3-1 lead.
The Georgians responded by quickly finding their range, and Nori was clearly unnerved by the onslaught on it, which seemed to be delivered with far greater accuracy.
He lost five straight games and looked in trouble when he broke again in the third game of the second set.
However, one aspect of the Putney-based southpaw has been his ability to reset and he started playing better as his opponent’s radar went awry. After breaking back he was in the ascendant at 5-4 when he fell out of love.
Nori and his girlfriend look happy after their massive victory in the final at Indian Wells
Big-hitting Basilashvili proved no match for Nori despite winning the opening set
The catalyst for this was a brace of excellent points, a clever volley over the net followed by a brilliant running forehand pass.
He managed to keep the momentum going at the start of the third, breaking 2-0 when Basilashvili fired a backhand wide. Nori then escaped a mini-crisis in the next game, when he held 0-40 on serve, again drawing errors from Georgian’s massive swipe at the ball.
Basilashvili took a desperate looking toilet break down 4-1, but it did him a lot of good. The three-minute gap failed to stop the stream of over-pressurized mistakes that were now pouring out of his racket. He didn’t make it difficult for Nori to serve, hitting long and wide.
Few players work harder or are more durable than the British number one, which was developed largely in New Zealand. Anyone familiar with their work ethic or cheerful resilience through all the bubble bans could be nothing but joy for them this year.