​​​​​​​ATP Indian Wells: Cameron Norrie downs Nikoloz Basilashvili to celebrate crown

by   |  VIEW 1144

​​​​​​​ATP Indian Wells: Cameron Norrie downs Nikoloz Basilashvili to celebrate crown

For the first time in the Masters 1000 history, Indian Wells gathered four semi-finalists ranked outside the top-25. Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev had lost before the semi-final round and left the door open for other players to chase the Masters 1000 glory.

As it turned out, Cameron Norrie was the last man standing on Sunday, defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 49 minutes to claim the first Masters 1000 crown in a battle of two first-time finalists at this level.

Cameron came to Indian Wells with eight Masters 1000 wins and scored six in the desert to celebrate the career-best title and enter the top-20 with 1000 points on his tally. The Briton played better behind the first serve and defended three out of six break chances while delivering five breaks to turn the tables after the opener and bring the victory home for a massive celebration.

It was not the final of the highest order, with ten winners and 25 mistakes from Norrie and a 24-49 ratio for the Georgian, who lost the ground completely after dropping the second set. There was nothing to separate the rivals in the mid-range and most extended exchanges, and Norrie forged the crucial advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes.

Nikoloz held at 15 in the opening game with a service winner, and Cameron got his name on the scoreboard with a smash winner in game two. The Briton claimed the opening break in game three when the Georgian sprayed a forehand mistake and held at love a few minutes later with an unreturned serve for a 3-1 lead after 12 minutes.

Norrie hit a double fault in the sixth game to suffer a break and bring the rival back into contention before Basilashvili held at love for a 4-3 advantage.

Cameron Norrie defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili in theee sets to win Indian Wells.

Nikoloz took charge in those moments and grabbed another break that moved him 5-3 in front, serving for the set in game nine and landing a forehand down the line winner for a close ending and the opener in his bag after 29 minutes.

A left-hander sprayed a volley mistake at the net in the second set's third game to fall 2-1 down before pulling the break back a few minutes later for 2-2. In the fifth game, Cameron held with a short backhand winner and wasted a break chance in the next one that could have pushed him 4-2 up.

Nikoloz held at 3-4 after some issues and moved two games away from the title. Cameron brought the ninth game home with a perfect drop shot winner and broke at love a few minutes later to rattle off eight straight points and force a decider.

Nikoloz sprayed a backhand mistake in the third set's second game to fall behind and squandered three break chances in the next one, as Cameron took five straight points for an essential hold. The Georgian battled hard to survive the fourth game and get his name on the scoreboard before hitting a backhand long in the next one for a 4-1 deficit.

Cameron broke again in game six and held at 15 a few minutes later to seal the deal and become the Masters 1000 champion.