INDIAN WELLS (AFP) – Cameron Norrie’s breakthrough season reached a high point in the California desert on Sunday with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili to become the first Briton to win the ATP Indian Wells title.
Norrie rallied from a set down to earn his career best 47th win of the season and is the first player from Great Britain to lift the trophy, achieving what former finalists Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski failed to do.
This is Norrie’s second title in his sixth ATP final of the season after winning his maiden crown earlier this year in Los Cabos.
The victory will also propel him into the top 20 in the world for the first time in his career, and move him past Daniel Evans to become the new British No. 1.
“I am so happy, this is my biggest title,” said Norrie, who clinched the crown when Basilashvili belted a forehand long on the first match point.
Norrie hit just one ace had two double faults but won 77% of his first serve points and played better in the crucial moments than Basilashvili.
Meantime, Paula Badosa demonstrated her mental toughness to become the WTA Indian Wells champion in her desert debut on Sunday with a hard-fought, three-set victory over two-time champion Victoria Azarenka.
The Spaniard, who had not lost a set since her first match of the tournament, needed three hours and four minutes to out-muscle Azarenka 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 7-6 (7/2).
“Every morning I wake up and my dream is to win a tournament like this,” Badosa said. “I have to keep working hard and always believe. The key is to enjoy the journey.”
Badosa won her only previous WTA final earlier this season in Belgrade but she did it via a retirement over Ana Konjuh.
This one was sweeter because Badosa got to close out the championship point on the court, hammering a forehand winner to the open side that Azarenka could only watch sail in.