By BETH HARRIS AP Sports Writer
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) – Cameron Norrie defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open, giving the tournament its first non-Top 25 ranked champion since 2010.
Norrie, ranked 26th, had the only two breaks of the final set and won when Basilashvili’s backhand sailed long on match point. Basilashvili, ranked 36, was the first player from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final.
Norrie, Ivan Ljubicic in 2019, Alex Corretja in 2000, and Jim Courier in 1991 – all ranked 26th – won the title as they had placed outside the Top 25 since the tournament moved to Indian Wells in 1987. Larry Stefanki was ranked 143rd when he won in 1985 at neighboring La Quinta.
The women’s final also produced a champion for the first time.
Paula Badosa edged Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-6 (2) on her debut at Indian Wells.
She joined Bianca Andreescu in 2019 and Serena Williams in 1999 in winning the title in her first appearance. It was Badosa’s second title in his career, after winning in Belgrade earlier this year.
Norrie handled Basilashvili’s power on the baseline by working the angles. He broke the Georgian in love on Basilashvili’s forehand error to win the second set.