INDIAN WELLS (Calif.) -- Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated American Taylor Fritz 7-6 (5) and 6-3 on Saturday. This set up a final against Cameron Norrie at The BNP Paribas Open. It will crown the first male winner ranked outside of the Top 25 since 2010.
In an 86-minute semifinal, Norrie of Britain defeated Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria 6-2 and 6-2. Fritz, who was born in San Diego and was clearly the favorite, took 1 hour 41 minutes to beat Basilashvili.
Former world No. In the women's final Sunday, Victoria Azarenka will play 21st-seeded Paula Badosa from Spain.
The two-week-long ATP/WTA tournament was filled with surprises, instead of the usual March dates. In an event that was missing Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as well as Serena Williams, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, top seeds Daniil Medvedev, Karolina Pliskova, and top seed Karolina Pliskova, were the ones who fell.
This is the first time that all four semifinalists for men have been ranked outside the Top 25 in tournament history of 45 years. Norrie is 25th; Dimitrov 28th; Basilashvili 36th; Fritz 39th.
Indian Wells' last winner was No. 26 Ivan Ljubicic, 2010.
Fritz wanted to make it to the final, and win the chance of becoming the first American winner since Andre Agassi 2001. The 23-year old fell to 0-5 this year in the semifinals.
Fritz stated, "His backhand hits harder than anyone on tour." Fritz said, "The way it hits the court so hard, flat and deep, there is nothing you can do." If I had wanted to be more aggressive, it would have meant that I was making more mistakes trying to hit big with such a large ball.
Basilashvili won the sixth match's first break and held on for a 5-2 advantage. Fritz lost one point in the next match due to Fritz's poor serve.
Basilashvili failed to convert his three first match points. Fritz had two break points due to his unforced errors before Basilashvili's forehand win into the open court sealed the victory.
The first set had four service breaks, and Norrie earned three.
Norrie converted the break in the second set when the Bulgarian scored a forehand. Norrie's forehand down the line winner gave him a lead of 4-2 and he won the match at love.
Norrie stated, "When I went for the match, it was like, ‘This is definitely a large service game here.'" "I was nervous. But I got out and it was great.
Su-Wei Hsieh's second-seeded pair, Elise Mertens and Elena Rybakina beat Veronika Kudermetova (1-6 (1), 6-3) to win the women’s doubles title. Hsieh and Mertens were awarded $414,500.