Indian Wells: The Spaniard Paula Badosa lifts her maiden WTA 1000 title beating former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(2). While Cameron Norrie tops the BNP Paribas Open also winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title ever.
Cameron Norrie defeats Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The British man became the first to win the Indian Wells being outside of the Top 25 rankings. With this win, Norrie now jumps to the 10th spot in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin.
The 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 result over the 29th seed came on the back of 10 winners and 25 unforced errors and handed Norrie a second title this season from his sixth final.
“It means so much to me, my biggest title. I’m so happy. I can’t even describe it right now,” Norrie said in his on-court interview. “It was a strange match today but absolutely massive for me and my team. I can’t really believe it. If you’d have told me I’d have won before the tournament started I wouldn’t have believed you, so it’s amazing.”
Cameron Norrie with the wins over the likes of Grigor Dimitrov, Diego Schwartzman, Tommy Paul, Roberto Bautista Agut, Tennys Sandgren, and Basilashvili, improves to a career-high World No. 16 in the ATP Rankings while new No. 1 British player.
“I was a little bit uncomfortable. It was quite windy and… for a stage he went through, he hit so many winners and it was tough for me to get some confidence on my rally balls because the rallies were really short,” Norrie said. “He was just blasting winners, so when I made a couple of those big shots at that 5-4 game in the second set it gave me a lot of confidence.
“I was able to find my feet and start moving again. I made the rallies physical like I’d been doing all tournament and it worked in my favor.”
Taking an early command of 3-1 by Cameron Norrie, the Georgian initiated a comeback winning the next 10 of the 11 points with his powerful shots irritated his opponent. The game shifted places as Basilashvili was 4-3 up and winning the set exclusively.
A similar second set circumstances occurred for Norrie finding himself 2-1 down however Norrie got the chance to level from a loose play from the Georgian. It was the first time in his Indian Wells journey that Norrie had dropped the opening set.
The Britain took the match into the decider taking his chances when Basilashvili had to fight to stay in the second set. Norrie leveled the match at the 71st minute with an eight points run.
The 29th seed is already down 0-2 and serving with three break points in his pocket to stretch the match longer. However, Cameron Norrie climbed back from the valley to prove vicious for his opponent as Basilashvili made errors his mentor giving Norrie the title after 1 hour and 51 minutes of battle.
“I’ve been really enjoying my tennis and been enjoying being out on court and competing in the big moments,” Norrie said. “I’m just really pleased with how I handled the occasion. I think I’m doing a lot better with that this year. I lost a lot of those finals, so it’s nice to get the big one today.”
Badosa ruins Azarenka’s third title hope.
The game of survival in the early stages of the first set of the finals as both players saved eight break points combined in the first four games alone. The Spaniard broke twice but Victoria Azarenka was not letting it go, getting leveled every time.
The first set was long mounting to 70 minutes with a tiebreak to come. Badosa who defeated Ons in the semis found a 4-0 lead but soon saw it disappear as well at 5-5. Both players battled it hard for the 28 shot rally for the last point which Badosa won eventually with an amazing backhand crosscourt winner.
After the soaking first set, Azarenka lashed onto a 5-1 lead with her depth and groundstroke precision. Badosa was broken straight away from a backhand winner in the first game. However, strong Badosa looked winning a game back but Azarenka closed on it with authority to keep it a piece.
A roller coaster in the third set, with the games being longer being more than five minutes in average. Azarenka looked in prime position to win her third title when she held a 4-4 score and eventually breaking her opponent to 5-4 and an opportunity to serve the match out.
However, Badosa had other plans first of all leveling to 5-5 and then moving into the decisive breaker. A litany of bold Badosa winners from both sides gave her a commanding 4-1 lead, and the Spaniard eased to victory from there, closing out the biggest title of her career with a forehand winner.
Both players were solid when their backs were against the wall. Azarenka saved eight of the 13 break points she faced, while Badosa fended off 10 of 17.
Post-match interview: “I think it was a really tough match,” Badosa said in press. “I think it was a really good one as well, because she played an amazing level. I think I had to rise [to a] high level every set. At the third set, I think I played my best. It was the only option if I wanted to win, so I’m really proud of it.
“The first thing that I’ve learned this week is that nothing is impossible. If you fight, if you work, after all these years, you can achieve anything. That’s the first message that I see that could happen. And to dream. Sometimes you have tough moments. In my case, I have been through tough moments. I never stopped dreaming. That’s what kept me working hard and believing until the last moment.
“I’m very happy what’s happening. I’m a little bit still in shock what happened today because winning a tournament like this, it’s always been a dream.”