Cameron Norrie became the first Briton to win the Indian Wells Open yesterday –– continuing a fine year for British tennis.
Norrie beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets to win tennis’ unofficial ‘fifth major’ and follow in the footsteps of compatriot, Emma Raducanu, who won the US Open last month.
The 26-year-old is also the first male Brit to win one of the nine ATP Masters 1000 titles since Andy Murray at the Paris Masters in 2016.
Having been ranked 26th prior to his victory in California, Norrie has risen to 15th and could well crack the top 10 before the end of the year.
But will he get there before Raducanu? The 18-year-old sensation started the year ranked outside the world’s top 300 and is now ranked 24th, following her triumph in New York.
The teenager was knocked out in the second round of Indian Wells and has withdrawn from the Kremlin Cup in Moscow this week.
Her next competition is therefore in Romania, at the Transylvania Open, before the Austria Ladies in Linz from November 6th. Both tournaments are classified as WTA 250 events, however, meaning there are few ranking points on offer.
Raducanu has also entered two exhibition competitions, but with no points on offer there either, there is next to no chance she’ll qualify for the end of season WTA Finals in Mexico, barring a number of dropouts.
Meanwhile, Norrie will take this week off before taking part in three consecutive events in Vienna, Paris and Stockholm. The Paris tournament is another Masters 1000 competition and there are thus plenty of ranking points to play for.
The new British number one is just 115 points behind Hubert Hurkacz for a spot in the ATP Finals in Turin and is less than 500 points behind the Pole for a spot in the top 10.
When you consider the number of tournaments Norrie is scheduled to play compared to Raducanu, it seems increasingly likely he will finish the year ranked higher.
Added to this, he has made six finals in total on the tour this year –– a tally bettered only by Novak Djokovic. Indeed, his consistency has been mightily impressive and a deep run in a major is bound to happen soon.
On the other hand, Raducanu pulled off the most extraordinary win in Grand Slam history last month but still has limited experience on the WTA tour and remains in search of a new coach.
Overall, it looks likely to be Norrie who will finish the year closer to the top 10. Yet, irrespective of this, the recent success of both players is confirmation this may well be the start of a memorable era for British tennis.News Now - Sport News