Britain’s Cameron Norrie has confirmed his place in his first Masters 1,000 final at Indian Wells as he thrashed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.
The world number 26’s lightning performance led him to win the semi-final 6-2 6-4 in California.
After battling his way through a demanding opening game to break Dimitrov’s serve, Norrie grew in confidence.
Two swift holds and another break put the Briton 4-0 up before the momentum briefly changed hands.
Dimitrov won two games in a row but the 30-year-old swung a forehand wide to immediately hand another break to Norrie, who finished the opening set in 31 minutes.
A lengthy opening game in the second set eventually went to the invincible Norrie as he won an early break.
Dimitrov put up more resistance as the set went on but Norrie showcased great resistance to save breakpoint and from there stood composed to hold serve as he closed out the win.
The 26-year-old will be playing the world number 36-year-old Nikoloz Basilashvili in the final, who beat American Taylor Fritz in the semi-final. The Georgian won 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to progress to his first final at this level.
After the victory, Norri said, “I’m becoming more and more comfortable in Indian Wells and it is the biggest win of my career for sure.”
“He made it difficult in the second set. I managed to serve well in those games and get through them. I think I had a very good gameplan today.”
Norrie’s run means he will replace Dan Evans as British number one and on Sunday as he will challenge for the biggest title of his career.
This is the sixth final Norrie has reached on tour this year and the match against world number 28 Dimitrov was the 46th he has won in an impressive season.
Norrie also made it to the third round of every Grand Slam except the US Open in 2021 and is now set to break into the world’s top 20 for the first time when the latest rankings are published on Monday.
If Norrie comes out victorious in Sunday’s final on Monday, he may give himself a chance of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin.
The women’s final will also take place on Sunday and features Paula Badosa and Victoria Azarenka.