(Reuters) – Cameron Norrie said playing Sunday’s Indian Wells final in a brand new pair of shoes was not ideal, but the Briton was able to see the funny side of things after getting past Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6 6-4 6-1.
Norrie, who became the first British man to win the Masters 1000 tournament, discovered shortly before the biggest match of his career that three pairs of well-worn shoes he had left on his locker overnight had disappeared.
“I think someone, I don’t know who it was … maybe someone from the cleaners came through and they threw the three pairs that I had away,” Norrie told reporters.
“Luckily I didn’t have a wedding ring attached (to them). I didn’t lose that, so it was a bonus,” he added, referring to an incident involving Andy Murray before the tournament.
The former world number one, who had made an online appeal for help after a pair of shoes went missing with his wedding ring attached, said later he was “back in the good books” of his wife following their return.
Norrie was not as fortunate, however.
“I looked all day, had everyone looking. I don’t know what the people have against Brits with stealing shoes, but I didn’t manage to get them back. Just had to go out there with a fresh pair. Yeah, it was difficult,” Norrie said.
“A couple times I was thinking about it, probably not the best thing. You don’t want to be thinking about your shoes … At one point I said, ‘All right, these are the shoes I’ve got, I’m going to focus on what I can control.’
“I wore them in a little bit, came good in the end.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)