Tennis: Brit Cameron Norrie's Indian Wells victory rubs salt into old wounds for NZ tennis

In New Zealand, Cameron Norrie is regarded as the one that got away, after announcing himself as a global tennis star with victory at the Indian Wells Masters 1000.

Winning one of the biggest events on the ATP Tour outside of the four Grand Slams makes Norrie Britain's top-ranked tennis player - but he could've done it as a Kiwi.

Despite the Union Jack flag waving in celebration, his unmistakable accent betrayed the place he's spent most of his life.

"My parents back in New Zealand, I miss you guys," Norrie acknowledged. "This title is for you guys."

His three-set victory over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili moves Norrie to 16th in the world - his highest career ranking - and dad David couldn't be prouder.

"It was tough to watch, but fantastic."

The win came as no surprise to his former coach in Auckland.

"It's just great to see someone achieving their goals they set for themselves when they were younger," says former NZ Davis Cup captain James Greenhalgh, who helped South African-born Norrie to a top-10 world ranking as a junior.

That wasn't enough to secure the financial support he needed to turn professional, while still in New Zealand.

"Tennis NZ still didn't feel he was worth funding in any way really," reflects David Norrie.

Luckily, Norrie's parents are originally from the UK and the British Lawn Tennis Association was quick to help him out.

"Certainly, it would be nice seeing the New Zealand flag beside his name, but that's not the path that he went down," admits Greenhalgh.

While Norrie Snr happily supports his son playing for another country, he fears other promising Kiwis will also be lost.

"The same thing will probably happen," he says. "There isn't a path for them."

Current NZ Davis Cup captain Alistair Hunt agrees.

"I think it will be a struggle," he says. "Financially, it's a massive ask."

Almost four decades have passed since Chris Lewis was the last Kiwi to crack the world top 20.

With that unlikely to change anytime soon, a Brit with Kiwi roots must do for now.