Tiafoe halts Norrie in Indian Wells to reach first Masters 1000 semi-final

Tiafoe halts Norrie in Indian Wells to reach first Masters 1000 semi-final

by Tom Grant

Last updated

Frances Tiafoe delighted the home crowd in Indian Wells as he took out the in-form Cameron Norrie in a rain-delayed quarter-final in the Californian desert.

The American, who spoke about how it feels to become a celebrity after beating Rafal Nadal, halted Norrie’s bid to make it nine wins-in-a-row as he impressed with a confident 6-4, 6-4 triumph in humid conditions in Palm Springs. Tiafoe had lost to Norrie in their only previous encounter in Delray Beach but he went into this last eight tussle with confidence as hadn't dropped a set all week.

The match was just a game old when play had to be stopped as rain started to make the court slippery. But 15 minutes later the players were back exchanging backhands across the net, with both showing flashes as to why this was one of the most-anticipated matches of the day.

Service holds were shared with the score at 3-3 before Tiafoe decided to make his move, Norrie unable to retrieve a deep Tiafoe forehand into the corner to break serve. The US star only needed the one break to wrap up the first set 6-4.

Norrie shocked the tennis world when winning the Indian Wells title in 2021 but he looked out-of-sorts as Tiafoe broke again in the very first game of the second set. But you don’t win Masters 1000 events without being hard to beat and the left-hander broke back immediately when Tiafoe sent a makeable forehand wide of the tramlines.

Tiafoe went back to doing what had given him so much success in the opener, timing his move forward to the net that had him win 10 out of 14 points when doing so. That tactic helped the American set up two break points and an outstanding crosscourt backhand winner had him 3-2 up with the ball on his racket.

A Tiafoe tumble was the highlight of the following game as the American held serve, and the finish line was slowly emerging in the distance. It got a whole lot nearer as the American finally secured the insurance of a double-break on his fifth break point when Norrie put a sliced backhand wide of the court.

Norrie did salvage one of the break when Tiafoe double-folded on break point and put the pressure on with a solid hold-to-love to make it 5-4 Tiafoe. But a big booming serve set up three match points for the American and he took it on the first to reach his first-ever Masters 1000 semi-final.


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