Cameron Norrie (7/1 to win tournament) will replace Dan Evans as British number one following his dominant victory over Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells Masters on Thursday night.
The 26-year-old was playing in the last eight of an ATP Masters 1,000 event for the first time in his career, but he showed no signs of nerves as he swept aside 11th seed Schwartzman 6-0 6-2.
It is the latest success in what has been a breakthrough year for Norrie, as he has now won 45 matches on the ATP Tour during 2021, one more than world number one Novak Djokovic, although he has played in more tournaments than the Serb.
Norrie is also now set to replace compatriot Evans as British number one when the new rankings are released on Monday, while he will also break in the world’s top 20 for the first time, regardless of what happens during the remainder of the week in Indian Wells.
Speaking about those achievements, Norrie told reporters after Thursday’s match: “‘It was never really a goal of mine, but it’s definitely a great bonus to be British number one.
“I want to keep pushing. I think I’ve got a lot of things to improve on, but I think it’s one of those things you’ve got to enjoy.”
The Brit, who has already reached five ATP Tour finals this year, claiming his maiden tournament success at the Los Cabos Open in July, believes the match against Schwartzman was the biggest of his career to date and he was delighted with how he handled the occasion.
“Definitely my biggest match of my career probably leading in,” he added. “I thought it was always going to be tough against Diego, and happy to play the way I did.
“I think that was the most impressive thing for me – for my biggest match of my career to play like I did and execute like I did was the biggest thing that I’m most happy with today.”
Norrie’s reward for reaching the semi-finals in California will be a clash with former world number three Grigor Dimitrov, who came through in three sets against 12th seed Hubert Hurkacz in Thursday’s other last eight contest (Dimitrov 10/1, Norrie 10/11 – Match Result).
The remaining quarter-final ties will take place on Friday, with third seed Alexander Zverev facing home favourite Taylor Fritz (Fritz 4/1, Zverev 1/6 – Match Result), while Nikoloz Basilashvili will be up against second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas (Basilashvili 11/4, Tsitsipas 1/4 – Match Result).