Cameron Norrie is ecstatic after reaching his first ever Masters 1,000 final at Indian Wells on Saturday in California. He achieved the feat after defeating Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
The world number 26 is now Britain's highest-ranked player, as he is expected to overtake Dan Evans at the top spot thanks to his appearance in the final. Norrie will be facing world number 36 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final, after the latter defeated home bet Taylor Fritz in the other semi-final.
The Georgian is also playing in his first Masters 1,000 final. In other words, both players will be highly motivated with a masters trophy at the tips of their fingers for the first time. Norrie spoke to the press after his semi-final and said: "I'm becoming more and more comfortable in Indian Wells and it is the biggest win of my career for sure."
He put emphasis on his service game, which he says helped him overcome Dimitrov's play for a comeback in the second set. "He made it difficult in the second set. I managed to serve well in those games and get through them. I think I had a very good gameplan today," he said.
The opening set ended in just 31 minutes, but Dimitrov opened the second set with a show of determination. However, despite his resistance and a lengthy opening game, Norrie broke early and fought hard to keep the momentum. Dimitrov came close to a break but Norrie stood his ground and managed to close out the match without dropping a set.
Norrie has been enjoying a successful season so far, with the final at Indian Wells coming at the heels of a victory at the Los Cabos Open in Mexico. It marked his first ATP singles title, and it appears as though he is ready to make more space in his trophy cabinet.
This season alone, Norrie has already reached six finals from a total of 46 match wins. He also now has the chance to be the first British man to lift the Indian Wells trophy.
Norrie's Grand slam form has not been bad either. He has consistently been able to make it as far as at least the third round in every Grand Slam except the US Open this year. He is aiming to claim a top 20 spot in the world rankings for the first time, with a victory at Indian Wells potentially taking him up to 16th in the world.
Meanwhile, the women's final between Paula Badosa and Victoria Azarenka will also be played on Sunday.