Andy Murray says he's in the 'bad books' after losing ring
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Cameron Norrie is gearing up for the most important match of his career. The 26-year-old is into a Masters 1000 final for the first time and faces Nikoloz Basilashvili on Sunday night (October 17) for a shot at winning his biggest title. Following his dominant semi-final victory over Grigor Dimitrov, Norrie credited the Battle of the Brits tournament held during the first lockdown for helping him get extra matches in ahead of the best season of his career so far.
Norrie’s Indian Wells run is the latest in his career-best season.
The Brit has now made six finals, winning one in Los Cabos back in summer to claim his maiden title, and faces his toughest test on Sunday as he plays the biggest final of his career.
After a sensational run in Indian Wells, beating the likes of 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, 11th seed Diego Schwartzman and former world No 3 Grigor Dimitrov, Norrie will now face world No 36 Basilashvili for 1000 ranking points, £880k prize money and the trophy at the tournament known as the ‘fifth Grand Slam’.
Norrie also secured the British No 1 ranking for the first time with his near-perfect 6-0 6-2 victory over Schwartzman in the quarter-final, and will overtake Dan Evans when the rankings are published on Monday (October 18).
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The world No 26, who started the year down at No 71 in the world, is also now set to make his top 20 debut off the back of his antics in the Californian desert.
After a breakout season, Norrie has now credited a British team tournament created by Jamie Murray, where he played alongside the likes of former world No 1 Andy Murray, for helping him gain momentum during last year’s lockdown.
While the tennis tour was halted for the pandemic, Jamie Murray organised a team event pitting two teams of British players against each other in singles and doubles at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
Playing with the likes of Andy Murray and his British No 1 predecessor Dan Evans, and later with recent US Open champion Emma Raducanu when a second edition of the event included British women’s players, Norrie said the tournament definitely “helped” British players when the tour resumed last August ahead of the US Open.
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“That was a lot of fun for me,” Norrie said of last summer’s Battle of the Brits event following his semi-final win over Dimitrov.
“That was a big thanks to Jamie and everyone involved with that.
“That was huge for all of us players to get those matches with a lot of pressure. None of us wanted to lose to anyone else. With everyone watching as well at the NTC. So that was perfect.”
The 26-year-old who grew up in New Zealand but moved to the UK aged 16 credit his fellow British male singles players for helping him get extra practices and matches in before the tour resumed amid the pandemic.
He continued: “Even to have Andy, Kyle, Evo, Jack, Jubby, Broads, all those players there to practice with, everyone was wanting the same thing, and to get good practices and good matches. That was a lot of fun, that event. I really enjoyed it.
“It definitely showed that it helped us, especially with the US Open.
“Following that we all had matches under your belts, we all went out and were feeling good. I know I was anyway.”
Norrie has also already committed to the next edition of the tournament, taking place in Scotland at the end of the year.
“I really enjoyed that one. I’m looking forward to the next event as well in December,” he added.
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