Cameron Norrie hit the big time in tennis with victory at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The 26-year-old’s 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili earned him his second title of 2021 in his sixth final and lifted him to 16th in the world rankings.
Here, the PA news agency answers the key questions around Norrie’s rise.
Was this expected?
In a word, no. Norrie began the year ranked 71 and getting close to his previous career high of 41 set in 2019 would have been seen as a good result. That Norrie is now a top-20 player and set to go higher is truly exceptional.
How has he done it?
With a lot of hard work. Norrie does not have a standout weapon in his game, although his forehand has improved a lot in 2021. What he does have are immense lungs and a tremendous attitude. Winning has become a habit, with Norrie showing his confidence by coming out on top of the sort of close matches he had been losing over the last couple of seasons.
Could he really qualify for the ATP Finals?
Yes. Norrie now sits 10th in the race for the eight-man event, but Rafael Nadal above him will not play because of an ongoing foot problem. The man he needs to overhaul is Hubert Hurkacz, who lies 160 points ahead.
Where does he play next?
Norrie understandably pulled out of this week’s tournament in Antwerp but will play next week in Vienna and then at the Paris Masters and Stockholm Open. With 1,750 points up for grabs across the three events, there is still plenty to play for.
What are his targets now?
The top 10 is an immediate goal, perhaps by the end of the season. Norrie will also lead Britain in the Davis Cup finals next month, where Leon Smith’s side must be considered strong contenders. Beyond that, going further at the grand slams will be a big target. Norrie has so far failed to progress beyond the third round, but a higher seeding should help, with the British number one having lost to Rafael Nadal twice and Roger Federer once this year.
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