Nikoloz Basilashvili booked his spot in the ATP Indian Wells Masters final, defeating American Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 on Saturday to post one of the biggest wins of his career.
Basilashvilli will next play another surprise finalist the 21st seeded Cameron Norrie, who eased past Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day.
The 29th seeded Basilashvili is gunning for his third ATP title of the season after triumphs in Doha and Munich.
He clinched the semi-final win over crowd favourite Fritz on the fourth match point, hammering a forehand winner that froze the American in his tracks.
“It is an unbelievable feeling,” the 29-year-old Basilashvili said. “I am super happy. I was nervous and stressed. I got very tight but I just tried to focus on the game.
“When you focus the stress goes away. I know I can play good tennis I just have to not get too tight.”
Basilashvili saved three set points to take the opening set in a tiebreaker.
The players stayed on serve throughout the match until the seventh game of the second set when Basilashvili got the break to go ahead 4-3.