Cameron Norrie: Britain has a new tennis star

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The 26-year-old became Britain’s first champion at Indian Wells with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss to Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in California, coming back from a set and a breakdown.

The victory marks the breathtaking peak of an incredible season for Norrie – who was ranked 74th in the world at the start of the year. Today he wakes up ranked 15th in the world and number one in Britain.

“It means so much to me, my biggest title. I’m so happy I can’t even describe it right now,” Norrie said during his on-field interview after the game.

“It’s absolutely huge for me and my team. I can’t really believe it.”

His sixth final this year – a record matched only by world number one Novak Djokovic – his victory at Indian Wells marks a second career title in three months for Norrie, who won at Los Cabos, Mexico in July.

The victory in Mexico came just weeks after an impressive Wimbledon appearance against Roger Federer – Norrie providing a stern test for the eight-time champion in a 4-6, 6-4, 5-7, 4-6 of 32 loss .

Norrie had already made history before a ball was hit in the Indian Wells final, becoming the first British player to reach an elite Masters 1000 since Andy Murray’s victory in Paris in 2016 .

“I really enjoyed my tennis and really enjoyed being on the court and competing in the big moments,” said Norrie.

“I’m really happy with the way I handled the opportunity, and I think I’m doing it a lot better this year. I know I lost in a lot of finals so it’s good to have the big today. “

To defend oneself

The Briton was forced to fight after a set after a strong start from Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world.

Serving a 3-1 lead in the second set, the 29-year-old Georgian looked set to take command, but Norrie broke his serve and never looked back to tie the game and roar through the third set for victory.

Norrie hits a shot en route to defeat Georgia's Basilashvili.
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“I was a little uncomfortable [early on]”Norrie admitted.

“It was pretty windy. During one stage he went through and hit so many winners. It was hard for me to trust. The rallies were really short and he just blew up the winners.

“But when I did some big hits… in the second set, it gave me a lot of confidence, and I was able to find my bearings, start moving again and make the rallies physical like I did the whole tournament and it worked in my favor. “

Norrie’s spectacular rise continues for a few fantastic months for British tennis, following teenage sensation Raducanu’s stunning victory at the US Open in September.

The 18-year-old became the first British woman to win a major tournament since Virginia Wade in 1977 with her victory over Canadian Leylah Fernandez at Flushing Meadows, skyrocketing her status and causing talk of the Briton becoming the first woman billion dollar sports car.
She has since fallen a little closer to the ground however, losing in her first outing since that US Open second-round triumph for Indian Wells earlier this month.

“Before the game I didn’t put any pressure on myself because in my mind I am so inexperienced,” Raducanu told reporters after the game.

“I’m 18. I need to relax a bit.”

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