Cameron Norrie links up with coach Stephen Huss in bid to rediscover form

By Sports Desk December 01, 2023

Cameron Norrie has added a new coach to his team as he bids to regain form in 2024.

Australian Stephen Huss, who won the Wimbledon men’s doubles title with Wesley Moodie in 2005, will work alongside Norrie’s main coach Facundo Lugones.

The British number one struggled over the second half of the season, losing 12 of his 16 matches following a second-round exit at Wimbledon.

Norrie told the PA news agency: “It should be good. I’m doing 10 to 12 weeks with him, more the practice weeks, to help me, to help Facu and just to keep things fresh and to have a different eye.

“I don’t know him too well but I’ve heard a lot of good things about him, and I think he’ll be really good for the team in general.”

Norrie has worked with Argentinian Lugones, who he met while studying at Texas Christian University, for his entire professional career.

He has also had help from experienced Lawn Tennis Association coach James Trotman, who now works with Jack Draper, and his former TCU coach Devin Bowen but has decided to bring in someone permanent.

“It was kind of both of our idea but more so Facu,” said Norrie. “I think it’s key to keep it fresh with your coach. I travel so much with Facu. We’ve never had any issue with that but I think it’s good to have someone else.

“I had that already, I had James Trotman from the LTA and Devin Bowen still helping me, still doing weeks, but they couldn’t really give it enough time for me. I was asking a lot all the time, try to do weeks with Devin at TCU and having him fly but he’s busy with the school and then Trotters with Jack.

“So it was difficult but it should be good to have someone else. It doesn’t really change too much with Facu, he’s still going to do a lot of weeks and he still wants to come to every tournament, which is great to have such a driven coach like that.”

Norrie, meanwhile, is getting ready to begin his pre-season training this weekend by hiking into the snowy French mountains and staying in a campervan.

The 28-year-old, who is an ambassador for Lexus and drives the RZ electric car, admits he will be well outside his comfort zone but is looking forward to the challenge.

“We’re going with my fitness trainer and we’re going up this mountain, sleep in his camper,” said Norrie, who is based in Monte-Carlo.

“One night, then the next day we have this big hike in the snow. He wants to test me a little bit. I’ve never really seen the mountains there.

“I love walking but I’ve not done a really long hike before. I bought some new shoes this week to get ready for that. We looked at the weather and it was minus 12 so I’ve got a big jacket as well. We’re bringing some food, some tea, play some cards. It should be good.

“I think it’s his idea to just change my mind, maybe leave the phone and just go and be in nature, see the mountains. He tells me it’s not the easiest hike. Hopefully no injuries. Then Monday he’s killing me in the gym.”

Norrie will kick-off the new season at the United Cup in Australia beginning on December 29.

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    The three-time grand slam champion has been forced to fend off retirement talk following a string of first-round defeats and looked set for another early exit when Shapovalov, a former top 10 player, took the opening set.

    Murray had struggled to breach the serve of his 24-year-old Canadian opponent, but produced a trademark gutsy display to edge a second-set tie-breaker before keeping his composure to break twice in the decider and secure a 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-3 win after two hours and 33 minutes.

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    However, rather than his match-up against one of the two Frenchman, it was the 36-year-old Scot’s longer-term future which was again a hot topic following his win, with Murray admitting he probably does not have “too long left” in the sport.

    “People read a lot into what I say on the court sometimes and it’s not always rational,” Murray said.

    “I obviously still love competing and still love the game, but it gets harder and harder the older you get to compete with the young guys and keep your body fit and fresh.

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    Murray won his most recent meeting against Shapovalov, but that was in 2022 and he entered this match in torrid form with only one win this year.

    Shapovalov signalled his intent with three aces in his opening service game before the duo traded a number of early holds.

    The first break point opportunity did not occur until the ninth game and, while Murray saved it at 15-40 down, Shapovalov outlasted the Scot in a lengthy rally on the next point to move 5-4 up.

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    Former world number one Murray produced a strong response at the start of the second set and remarkably produced three successful challenges on his serve.

     

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    Buoyed by his eagle-eyes, Murray followed this up with a first break point opportunity and, while it came and went, the 36-year-old did break Shapovalov at the next time of asking to move 3-1 up.

     

    Shapovalov had sent down two double-faults to aid Murray’s cause, but hit back immediately with a break of his own before he consolidated it after a 10-minute service game which included a 137mph ace.

    Murray had to display his trademark battling skills to keep the second set on serve at 4-4 and a tie-breaker was ultimately required.

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    In July 2022, Sharapova became a mother with the birth of her son Theodore and has taken up pickleball in her post-retirement life.

    Earlier this month, she partnered up with John McEnroe to take on Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf – in Pickleball Slam 2 – losing out on the one million USD (£789,000) prize.

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