British tennis player Cameron Norrie has had his best ever season, but could the left-hander kick on and qualify for the ATP Nitto Finals in Turin?
Norrie found a way to get past steely Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 after two hours and 44 minutes to make it into the last 16 of the BNP Paribas Open.
The 26-year-old will next face American Tommy Paul for a spot in the Indian Wells quarter-finals.
Paul won their only previous clash earlier this year in an ATP 250 tournament in Melbourne.
Norrie has bounced back well after being dumped out of the US Open in the first round by teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz Garfia.
The South African-born GB star beat Andrey Rublev en route to the San Diego final before losing to Casper Ruud in straight sets.
Now he is into the Indian Wells ATP Masters 1000 last 16.
Could Cameron Norrie qualify for Turin?
Norrie is well on his way to amassing 50 wins for the first time in a season. He currently has 41 match wins, which is a personal best.
The former top-ten junior is currently at a career-high 26 in the world rankings and, after sweeping all eight sets, won his first first ATP Tour title at 2021 Los Cabos.
Also this year, Norrie has been runner-up in Auckland, Estoril, Lyon and Queens.
It was in Lyon where Norrie secured the biggest win of his career to date when he beat former US Open champion and world number four Dominic Thiem in the second round.
Although Rafael Nadal currently occupies the final spot in the race to Turin, which will see the best eight players of the season compete in the ATP Finals, the legendary Spaniard won’t be travelling to Italy as he has shut down his season early to recover from a foot injury.
That leaves Hubert Hurkacz in ninth place as the target for those players retaining aspirations of participating in the showpiece.
As it stands Norrie sits on 1,930 points for the season, 935 behind Hurkacz with them both in the Indian Wells last 16.
With Ruud, who is in seventh, still in Norrie’s sights on 3,015 points, Norrie still has plenty to play for as well as the small matter of ousting Daniel Evans as British men’s number one. Evans is currently world number 22.
Four tournaments to go before finale
Following the conclusion of the tournament in Indian Wells, Norrie could still participate in four more events including the last ATP 100 Masters tournament of the season in Paris.
Every win is crucial at this stage of season and, with Norrie potentially playing Ruud in the Indian Wells quarter-finals, there’s little margin for error.
It has been a phenomenal season for Norrie. He probably didn’t expect to be in with a chance of qualifying for the finals but it’s a chance he has got to seize. It could be the opportunity of a lifetime and one he doesn’t get again in his career.