Cameron Norrie ends Grigor Dimitrov’s dream run, reaches first Masters 1000 final

Norrie began the year No. 71 in the rankings but is now guaranteed to break into Top 20 and become Briton’s No. 1 player for the first time in his career.

Cameron Norrie in a file photo; Credit: [email protected]_norrie

Cameron Norrie put an end to Grigor Dimitrov’s impressive run to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final at the BNP Paribas Open. The 26-year-old Londoner broke Dimitrov at the beginning of both sets to register a 6-2, 6-4 win at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Norrie started the tournament 14th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, but displaced Felix Auger-Aliassime in 11th by reaching the final. If he wins his first Masters 1000 title, he will move past Jannik Sinner in 10th position. He began the year No. 71 in the rankings but is now guaranteed to break into the Top 20 and become Briton’s No. 1 player for the first time in his career.

“It was the biggest match of my career, following on from yesterday, which was the biggest match,” Norrie said. “There was even more pressure today. I came out and played really physical. Grigor was maybe a little tired from the other matches, but he fought hard and made it physical at the start of the second set, which wasn’t easy.”

Norrie secured his 46th match win of the year. He is now within touching distance of his second title of the season to back up his triumph in Los Cabos. “I’ve been playing a lot of big matches this year, which has helped. I feel like I am used to the big moments and the big matches,” Norrie said. “I’m feeling more and more comfortable and I feel like I am playing on my terms in key moments.”

Ahead of the match, there were question marks over the fitness of Dimitrov following back-to-back grueling victories over Medvedev and Hubert Hurkacz in the previous rounds. The 30-year-old has also suffered from allergies during the tournament.

Basilashvili downs Fritz

Meanwhile, Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Taylor Fritz in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals to reach the title clash. The Georgian saved three sets points in the first set and all seven break points he faced, as he defeated the 23-year-old American 7-6, 6-3 to reach his first final at this level.

“It means a lot [to make my first Masters 1000 final] especially at Indian Wells, which people call it like a fifth Grand Slam… to get through so many matches is very important,” Basilashvili said. “I’m at the top of my game now and feeling the best.

“This was my first time in a Masters 1000 semi-final so I was a little bit tight. I just tried to get rid of [the tension] as much as I could because if I just focus on my game I can play good tennis.”

Fritz spoke about the break points he had and also praised Basilashvili’s backhand. “I had a lot of chances. It’s tough because I got all those chances and break points kind of from being solid and him missing,” Fritz said. “It’s kind of tough on those break points then to just pull the trigger on balls that I didn’t really feel comfortable with. I didn’t feel like I had good looks to kind of pull it on a big point.

“His backhand, he definitely hits harder than anybody on tour. The way that it comes through the court so hard and flat and deep, nothing you can really do. Usually I’m pretty good at fighting off the balls at the backhand. It was a bit tough today. He hit a lot of good backhand lines.”

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