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Cameron Norrie has won more matches than Novak Djokovic in 2021, has the intensity of Rafael Nadal and new British No.1 can claim title that eluded Andy Murray at Indian Wells


Cameron Norrie could cap off an incredible year by winning Indian Wells – an event no male British tennis player has managed to win before.

Norrie reached the final of the tournament, sometimes dubbed the ‘fifth grand slam, with and emphatic 6-2 6-4 win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and will meet Nikoloz Basilashvili in Sunday’s decider.

Norrie has reached the final of Indian Wells

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Norrie has reached the final of Indian Wells

Norrie has already won one ATP Tour title this year

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Norrie has already won one ATP Tour title this year

It was his 45th win of 2021, a total that eclipses Novak Djokovic’s total of 44 for the year – with the Serbian winning three of the four grand slams.

The 26-year-old tennis star will overtake Dan Evans as British number one, regardless of the result, and he is set to climb the rankings even higher.

It is the sixth ATP tour final Norrie has reached of 2021, his first ever ATP Masters 1000 event final, and will be hoping to cap off his brilliant season with a win at the prestigious event.

It is a tournament that has eluded Brits Greg Rusedski, Tim Henman and Andy Murray – who all made the final.

The left-hander has received great praise for the way he has played this week in the California heat.

Comparisons have been drawn with Rafael Nadal and not just because of the hand he uses to play tennis.

Nadal is one of the greatest of all time, with 20 grand slam titles to his name

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Nadal is one of the greatest of all time, with 20 grand slam titles to his name

He brings great intensity and stamina to the court and is willing to engage in gruelling rallies from the baseline.

Cameron Norrie’s coach Facundo Lugones told The Times: “Players know they’re in for a long day and he’s not going to give it to them.

“They’re going to have to work really hard and be physically fit to overcome him. When you’re a guy that shows up every single day, a lot of players are sometimes not ready for that.

“The ability to not take one point off and do that in every single match, Cam takes people mentally and physically to positions in which they become uncomfortable and then they start playing worse. He competes unbelievably well.”

Norrie defeated the former world number three to make the final

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Norrie defeated the former world number three to make the final

Norrie is hoping to translate his strong performance at this tournament – and an impressive year on the ATP Tour – into becoming a more dangerous player at the world’s big four tournaments next year, having never made it into a second week of a grand slam.

“I’ve had some opportunities there to make the second week of a slam, but it’s not gone my way,” Norrie told reporters after beating 28th-ranked Dimitrov in an hour and 26 minutes.

“It’s all been great learning for me. Hopefully with these results I can put myself in a higher seeding there, then maybe have some more chances.

“I’ve faced some pretty decent players this year in the third round (at the slams).

“Those experiences have been great for me, those big matches.”

Norrie has won more matches than Novak Djokovic in 2021

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Norrie has won more matches than Novak Djokovic in 2021

Norrie suffered third round losses to Rafael Nadal at this year’s Australian and French opens, and to Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

Winning Indian Wells would be a huge step for the Brit and he would rake in £900,000 if he wins.

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