Norrie thought he could ‘win Indian Wells’ before losing to Tiafoe
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Cameron Norrie has claimed that he thought he had a chance at winning a second Indian Wells title before crashing out to Frances Tiafoe. The American put on a dazzling display to reach his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final with a 6-4 6-4 win and now has his sights set on the trophy.
Norrie and Tiafoe opened play on the first of two quarter-final days at Indian Wells and were immediately halted by the rain as play stopped for 15 minutes with the Brit leading 1-0. But it was the 14th seed who pounced first and broke at 4-3, closing out the set 6-4 after just 39 minutes.
The American looked to race to the lead as he broke in the first game but Norrie broke back and a rollercoaster final set ensued as Tiafoe raced to a 5-2 lead and served for the match but gifted the 10th seed the game on a double fault. He finally closed out a 6-4 6-4 victory in an hour and 39 minutes to advance to his first semi-final at Masters level.
With Norrie’s loss, it left no British players remaining in the singles draw after Jack Draper and Emma Raducanu lost their round-of-16 matches on Tuesday, and the former champion confessed he thought he could have won again. “I’m disappointed,” the 27-year-old told BBC Sport after the loss.
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“It was a big opportunity for me looking at the names left in the draw. I felt I had a really good chance to win another Indian Wells but on the day today Frances was better than me, and that’s the sport.”
Meanwhile, Tiafoe explained how he managed to defeat Norrie as he admitted he had learned to become more aggressive in recent years. “I’m using my speed a lot more to be aggressive, not just to react to balls and out the corners and stuff,” he told reporters.
“I’m doing that much better now. Using my speed to be aggressive, coming forward much more, sticking volleys, and just being athletic out there. It’s tough for guys. I’m really coming at you. Yeah, he didn’t have any response for me today. Cam’s going to be Cam and make it tough for me at the end. I blinked a little there at the end, but for the most part I thought it was one-way traffic.”
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The 25-year-old then touched on his career goals as he explained why he’d rather win a Major than reaching the top of the rankings but said he had his eyes on the Indian Wells title first. “Win a Grand Slam,” he said when asked what he wanted to achieve.
“Be No 1 in the world, great, but if I can walk away from the game, I won a slam, I will sleep totally well at night. No one’s gonna tell me s**t. I’m gonna be, Oh, I’m a Grand Slam champion. I will be pumped, preferably US Open Yeah, that’s to go. And I’m in semis at Indian Wells, so why not try to win Indian Wells first? Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the one thing I want to actually, to win a Grand Slam.”
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