Cameron Norrie came back from a set down to claim his maiden Masters title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, beating Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
The Brit had some trouble settling into the final match, but once he did in the second set, he took off running and left little room for the Georgian to get back into the match.
Still, it has been an unusually strained fortnight for British men and their shoes in the desert. Not unlike Andy Murray, Norrie’s match trainers went missing, apparently at the hands of staff trying to keep the locker room tidy. Unlike Murray, Norrie’s were not returned and he took the court in brand new shoes, breaking them in with the championship match.
He told the press, “A couple times I was just thinking about it, probably not the best thing. You don’t want to be thinking about your shoes. A little bit to get used to. At one point I said, all right, these are the shoes I got, I’m just going to focus on what I can control right now. I wore them in a little bit, came good in the end.”
Repeatedly facing questions about his limited success at grand slams and the choice to attend university, Norrie is proud of his steady progress up the rankings and this Masters 1000 title will make a significant mark in his records.
“I think my progression with tennis has been pretty steady. Obviously not been too quick to get up. Went through the challengers fairly quickly. Around kind of 60 to 80, I was stuck there, then made a jump forward. I think I’ve just been working hard and progressing nicely, making small improvements in my game and in my ranking.”
His mature attitude showed in the tournament. He explained, “I think in the past, a little bit with my experience, being on the tour four years now, I was very calm in the bigger moments and I played unbelievable, my best tennis, against Diego [Schwartzman] and Grigor[Dimitrov] in the quarters and semis. Those were huge matches for me.”
Norrie is now a contender to play ATP Finals in Turin, a conversation he is thrilled to be a part of.
“It’s amazing to be in the hunt for that this late in the year. I think throughout the year I’ve been pretty consistent and been in the hunt with being in the top kind of 15 in the race all year. It’s not been a
surprise or not thought anything, but I’ve always had a good chance.”
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