Badosa, Norrie score historic tournament wins in Indian Wells

Paula Badosa and Cameron Norrie have created history with their respective tournament victories in Indian Wells.

Badosa became the first Spanish woman to win the event following her 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) defeat of Victoria Azarenka in the WTA final.

Norrie battled back to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the ATP final, becoming the first British man to win the Masters 1000 tournament.

Badosa joined Bianca Andreescu (2019) and Serena Williams (1999) in winning the title in her first appearance.

It was Badosa’s second tournament win of her career, having triumphed in Belgrade earlier this year.

The 23-year-old struggled with Azarenka for over three hours, trading back-to-back service breaks five times.

The last time Azarenka broke for a 5-4 lead in the third, Badosa broke right back for a 5-5 scoreline.

Badosa missed a backhand that allowed Azarenka to hold at 6-6.

But Badosa dominated the tiebreaker, racing to a 6-2 lead. Azarenka dumped a forehand into the net to give Badosa match point.

Badosa cracked a forehand winner, then collapsed at the baseline.

She lied face down, crying and shaking, before getting up. Azarenka came around the net and hugged her opponent.

Azarenka, the two-time major champion and former world number one, was seeking just her second title since 2016.

The 32-year-old from Belarus came up short in her bid to become the first woman to win Indian Wells three times, having also taken the title in 2012 and 2016.

In the first-set tiebreaker, Badosa had leads of 4-0 and 5-3. Azarenka levelled at 5-5 on Badosa’s netted forehand.

Azarenka missed a backhand to give Badosa a set point and the Spaniard cashed in with a backhand winner to take the set.

Badosa earned $1.2 million ($AU1.6 million), more than her previous prize money for the year of just in excess of $1 million ($AU1.3 million).

She came into the tournament ranked 27th in the world. A year ago, she was 87th on the WTA rankings.

Badosa is projected to rise to a career-best 13th when the next rankings are released this week.

Norrie outlasts Basilashvili

Norrie became the first men’s champion ranked outside of the top 25 since 2010.

The world number 26 had the only two breaks of the final set and won when Basilashvili’s backhand sailed long on match point.

Cameron Norrie became the first Briton to win the men’s tournament in Indian Wells.(Getty Images: Matthew Stockman)

Basilashvili, ranked 36th, was the first player from the former Soviet republic of Georgia to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final.

Norrie, Ivan Ljubicic (2010), Alex Corretja (2000) and Jim Courier (1991) are the only players to have won the title while ranked outside the top 25 since the tournament moved to Indian Wells in 1987.

Larry Stefanki was ranked 143rd when he won in 1985 at nearby La Quinta.

Norrie handled the big-hitting Basilashvili’s power off the baseline by working the angles. He broke the Georgian at love on Basilashvili’s forehand error to take the second set.

He was up a break at 2-0 in the second when he fought off a rare break point on his serve for a 3-0 lead. Basilashvili won his only game with a cross-court forehand winner off Norrie’s drop shot to trail 3-1.

Norrie won the final three games to take the match in just under two hours.


Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: