California, October 18: Cameron Norrie became the first British player to win the ATP Indian Wells Masters after fighting back to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in an historic three-set victory.
Norrie dropped the opening set before rallying to a memorable 3-6 6-4 6-1 triumph for the biggest title of his career on Sunday (October 17).
The world number 26 became the first man ranked outside the top 25 to win in the Californian desert since Ivan Ljubicic in 2010 as he moved 10th in the Race to Turin, with the ATP Finals taking place next month.
"It means so much to me, my biggest title. I'm so happy. I can't even describe it right now," 21st seed 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."
Basilashvili – the 29th seed – was down an early break at 3-1 before turning the first set on its ear by reeling off five straight games to seize control.
It was the first time Norrie had dropped an opening set at this year's tournament and it was looking ominous when the new British number one surrendered another break at 2-1 at the start of the second.
But a run of eight consecutive points fuelled Norrie, who broke to level the match against Basilashvili.
While Basilashvili had his chances, Norrie used his defensive skills to outlast the Georgian after almost two hours on court.
Norrie, who boasts a 47-20 record in 2021, added: "I've been really enjoying my tennis and been enjoying being out on court and competing in the big moments.
"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."