He is on his cloud, without giving the impression of overplaying. Already a finalist in San Diego in preparation for this Indian Wells tournament, Carmeron Norrie, the 26th player in the world, qualified for his first Masters 1000 final on Saturday, after a well-rounded match against Grigor Dimitrov. Yet a novice already during this half, the British left-hander dominated his subject with head and shoulders and a visibly tested opponent (6-2, 6-4) in 1h27 of play. This victory secures him a place in the Top 20 in the ATP ranking next week and replace it in the Masters race (11th in the Race), before attempting Sunday to win the cup against Nikoloz Basilashvili or Taylor Fritz.
Already irresistible in the quarter against Diego Schwartzman (swept 6-0, 6-2), Cameron Norrie has not lost the rhythm. A performance all the more impressive given that he faced on Saturday a player already titled in Masters 1000 in his career (in Cincinnati in 2017) and especially hit-and-miss from the number 1 seed Daniil Medvedev and a Hubert Hurkacz as well. in the race for the “Masters tournament”. But on the court, Grigor Dimitrov delivered only a very poor copy of his previous and brilliant performances.
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Cameron Norrie in Indian Wells in 2021
Credit: Getty Images
Norrie fresher physically and more tactically focused
Because despite a day of rest, the Bulgarian did not seem in physical condition to practice the same level of tennis as in eighth and quarter. Relatively slow and especially in great difficulty in his small adjustments before hitting the ball, he conceded an entry double break which set the tone for the game (0-4). Unable to overwhelm a Cameron Norrie of a formidable consistency in the exchange in the very slow conditions of this 2021 edition, Dimitrov quickly became frustrated, accumulating blunders (28 unforced errors in all, for 16 winning strokes). And despite an embryonic reaction, he logically gave up the first round in just over half an hour (6-2).
It must be said that on the other side of the net, Norrie played the perfect game tactically, he who had already dominated Dimitrov in Miami this season. With his curled left-handed forehand, he martyred the opposing backhand in a pattern that furiously recalled the tactics used a thousand times by Rafael Nadal against Roger Federer (all things considered, of course). And he drove the point home of the second set by once again seizing the opposing service. A sufficient break in the end to win in two rounds.
Dimitrov, however, had the merit of making this second act more competitive and enjoyable, with a few flashes of which he has the secret on two forehands at the end of the race in particular. He also looked for solutions on the tactical level, projecting more into the net (9 points gained on … 9 climbs) and using more of his backhand slice. But his irregularity and his inability to fully engage in his strikes, facing the often inconsistent balls of his rival, doomed him. Norrie, for his part, will play his 6th final of the season, like a certain Novak Djokovic. This is to say if he has reached a milestone in 2021.
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