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Better fitness and a dangerous backhand: The keys behind Cameron Norrie’s rise
"He doesn't get the hype that other players get," says his coach, Facundo Lugones. But as a British player into the semifinals of Wimbledon, it's been tough for even the normally low-key Norrie to stay unnoticed.
Published Jul 07, 2022
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Though Cameron Norrie has flown under the radar during his rise up the ranks, he's finally starting to get some attention.
The 26-year-old won the 2021 title at Indian Wells, broke into the ATP's Top 10 this season and is now into his first Grand Slam semifinal.
"He doesn't get the hype that other players get," his coach, Facundo Lugones, told press at Wimbledon. "But I don't think he cares about that. If anything, it motivates him to do better and be in these moments more often."
But as a British player into the semifinals of Wimbledon, it's tough for even the normally low-key Norrie to stay unnoticed. His run has created more interest in his unusual game, and following his quarterfinal victory against David Goffin in five sets, his coach explained why Norrie has been so successful.
"He does a lot of fitness, probably more than anyone," said Lugones. "That's why in the fifth set, he looked actually more comfortable than at the beginning of the match."
Norrie also presents an unfamiliar challenge for opponents with the contrast between his heavy topspin forehand, which produces a lot of winners, and a flat two-handed backhand that Lugones compared to that of France's Adrian Mannarino.
"That is probably one of the keys,” said Lugones, “that it's so different than everyone else's backhand. It's also coming from the deuce side as a lefty. A lot of players can hit it like that, but most of them are righty."
"When you have that shot going to the forehand, you can rush them, keep the ball really low and hard, it's really uncomfortable for most players because they're not used to [that],” he added. "There's only two guys on the whole tour who can do it.
"Now it's a little bit more variety. He uses the backhand line a lot more. He can use the slice. Before it was just his backhand cross, now he add a little different things to it to give him some variety."
Norrie, the top-ranked British player, will face three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.