Cameron Norrie’s coach Lugones claims semi-finalist’s fitness levels ‘insane’
A day after Cameron Norrie outfought and outlasted David Goffin to reach his first grand slam semi-final at Wimbledon, Norrie’s coach, Facundo Lugones, has hailed his fitness levels as “insane” and he believes that few players train as hard as he does.
“He does a lot of fitness, probably more than anyone,” Lugones said. “I don’t even know how much other players do, but it would be hard to beat how many hours Cam does., especially when he’s fitness training with Vasek [Jursik], they do some really intense conditioning sessions on the court where he stays in that red zone where the heartbeat is just insane.”
Norrie’s fitness is the asset he takes the most pride in and over five-set matches he carries himself with the belief that he can outlast and break down even the fittest opponents. After his match against Goffin, Norrie said he sat with Lugones and made a plan with a clear goal: “Let’s get to two hours in the match and then the match starts then”. As Norrie opened the fourth set while trailing by two sets to one, the match passed the two-hour mark. He did not lose another set.
According to Lugones, in those training sessions, Norrie can compete for six to seven minutes with his heartbeat above 200 beats per minute. “I think a normal person can’t even do a minute and a half on that. They would be close to passing out. He can play tennis for eight, nine minutes on that.”
This successful partnership between Norrie, 26, and Lugones, who turned 30 on Wednesday, is a rare sight in the ever-shifting world of tennis coaching. They are close friends who met as students at Texas Christian University, and upon Norrie’s graduation they began working together. Lugones has accompanied Norrie as he has risen from college, to ITF Circuit events, to Challengers and finally to the top of the sport. Lugones has been on a similar trajectory in his first tole as a top coach, learning on the job.
“Now he’s a man,” Lugones said. “Before he was just a kid. I mean, his maturity, the way he goes about his business. It’s still improving. He’s really, really mature. His tennis now is his priority number one, where before he had a lot of different things going on.”Maybe tennis was really important, but it was not the only thing.”
The victory on Tuesday, in front of 4.5 million viewers on BBC Two, even as British government ministers resigned every other minute, was the moment Norrie’s success and story was finally thrust into full view after flying under the radar for so long. To his team, whether or not he received sufficient credit is not important. “Maybe he was underestimated, but we don’t really care,” Lugones said. “Doesn’t really matter what people say or think. At the end of the day, the results are what matters.”