Cameron Norrie’s Indian Wells run ended at the quarter-final stage as American Frances Tiafoe beat the Briton in straight sets.
The 6-4, 6-4 loss ended Norrie’s eight-match winning streak. The 2021 champion at Indian Wells won the title in Rio de Janeiro last month and has a 21-4 win-loss record for the year.
After a rare rain delay had halted play in the match’s early stages, Tiafoe whipped a forehand crosscourt winner to break Norrie for a 4-3 lead in the opening set.
The dynamic Tiafoe, who fed off the energy of the supportive crowd, then pressured Norrie into an error on set point by coming into the net.
Tiafoe saw his double break second-set lead whittled down to one when he double faulted at 5-3.
But he managed to serve out the match on his next opportunity, unleashing a 139 mph ace to set up match point before ending the affair when Norrie’s forehand sailed long.
“I truly feel like when I’m there mentally, I’m one of the best players in the world,” Tiafoe said.
“Today it is not just about getting to the semis, I am happy to beat a guy like that, who has been playing so well.
“To be able to come out here and beat him in straight sets, relatively comfortable. At the end it got a little tricky, but it was pretty much one-way traffic and I am really happy with where my game is at.”
Tiafoe, who has yet to drop a set at the tournament in the Southern California desert, reached the semi-finals of last year’s US Open where he fell to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz.
Next up for the 14th-seeded Tiafoe is a meeting with Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev.