Cameron Norrie, his admiration for Andy Murray and a wish: “I want to see him enjoying the tough moments in the matches a bit more”

Cameron Norrie
Cameron Norrie smiles after his interview with CLAY / SEBASTIÁN FEST
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After a tremendous career, Andy Murray is entitled to everything, but his compatriot Cameron Norrie would like to see something in him that he misses.

“I want to see him enjoying the tough moments in the matches a bit more,” said Cameron Norrie, one of the most “globalised” players on the ATP tour, during an interview with CLAY.

Cameron Norrie, 28, ranked 31st in the world, is a special player: his coach, before he was his coach, was his friend. And he still is, even though they have been together for seven years now. The son of a Welsh mother and Scottish father, he was born in South Africa, grew up in New Zealand, studied in the United States and represents the United Kingdom. And his head coach, by the way, is Argentinian, Facundo Lugones.

That Cameron Norrie spoke during the late February interview in Buenos Aires’ Argentina Open about Murray’s approach to matches was almost prescient. This week, This week, following the Scotsman’s successful debut at the Indian Wells tournament, former tennis player Laura Robson, now on Sky Sports, asked Murray about his tendency to self-flagellate while playing, including bitter guffaws after unforced errors.

Murray didn’t exactly welcome the comment.

“If I’m laughing that’s not OK. If I’m shouting it’s not OK. If I’m flat like I was in Australia, that’s not OK. So it’s very hard for me to get the balance right. I’m very different on the court. I’m not a robot. I’m a bit odd, a bit strange. But I play better when I’m like that.”

Norrie seems to see it differently, and expanded on the subject in an interview in which he also marked his differences with the style of Denmark’s Holger Rune, used in recent times to changing coaches with astonishing frequency, and opined on the Nick Kyrgios-Boris Becker controversy.

– Could you speak about your very long relationship with your coach, Facundo Lugones? It’s not that usual to have such a long relationship. Why?

– First of all, we were good friends in college, in TCU (Texas Christian University), and we played on the team together. He’s a good player, hits the ball really well. When I asked him to coach me, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I had good feelings with him and I was someone I could really trust with the tennis as well and off the court. I couldn’t tell him anything and I think we have a really unique relationship. I never feel like we’re sick of each other or anything. For me, he’s so passionate about tennis. He takes care of all the details and he’s a good player himself, so he knows what it’s like and knows what it takes to be a top player. I have nothing but confidence. He’s got a lot of positive things to say about Facu.

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– Can you be a coach and friend at the same time?

– Yeah, I think we do a good job of doing this and I think he did a really good job at the beginning of drawing the line and knowing when to enjoy and when to be professional. I’m friends with my team, all my team, so for me he’s a great coach.

Norrie’s selfie / CAMERON NORRIE

– You’re kind of the opposite to Holger Rune. He changes his coach every week…

– Yeah, I trust in my team and I think it’s very key in this sport to have people around you you can trust. You can trust their opinions on your tennis and trust that they’re giving you the best advice possible and having the continuity to keep everything the same, to know that you’re taking care of everything you can off the court, on the court. I felt like I was not comfortable with someone in my team. I would change someone, but I’m lucky enough and I was fortunate enough to pick really top-level people in all their departments.

– You grew up admiring Rafael Nadal. Then you played against him. What is the sensation? Is it something beyond admiration because he keeps going and going and trying?

– At the beginning playing all those top guys, Roger, Rafa, Andy, it’s always a little bit different the first couple of times. You definitely feel uncomfortable. You put them on a pedestal, very high. And then I think as the years have gone by and as I’ve improved and been a bit more comfortable hanging out with them, talking with them, I played on Laver Cup with all those guys and I’m seeing them week in, week out and watching them play and definitely picking apart their games. So I’m feeling more comfortable to play against them and having the chance and really having the belief to beat them and putting that kind of… putting them that high aside and making it about tennis and playing.

– How do you feel when you see Andy Murray trying and trying and trying at this moment of his career? He could be resting at home and he still has the desire to play.

– I know how much he loves tennis and he loves traveling and loves watching tennis. So for me, it’s amazing to see him doing this. I know that for sure he has the level still to be playing it at the highest level and with the best players in the world. And I think like you said, he’s playing really well in practice. And I think he just needs to make sure to put that level that he has on the court. And yeah, I think he’s… For me, I would like to see him… I know he’s enjoying everything, but I want to see him enjoying the tough moments in the matches a bit more. And yeah, I mean, I love this game and I love watching him play. For me, legend, regardless of what happens in the next few years of his career.

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– When you listen to Nick Kyrgios saying that his serve is better than Boris Becker’s in 1985 and that he’s basically a better player than those players back then, do you agree? Would you compare?

– I would… It’s a tough one because I would say his best tennis level is better than theirs. His serve is unbelievable. But he’s not as consistent. He’s not playing nearly as well. He doesn’t play as much as them. But I would say if he can stay healthy and play all the tournaments for a long, long time, I don’t see why not. He’s got everything, Nick.

– Twenty four Grand Slam titles against 22. Does it mean that Djokovic is the best player ever?

– I don’t know. I guess on the stats, you say yes.

– And is there something beyond the stats?

– I think everyone has their own opinions on who they think… Who they like the most and who.. Yeah. Who they think is the best. But on the stats, yeah, it shows.

– What’s your craziest dream in tennis? I mean, you did a lot. But what would you like to do that you didn’t do?

– Yeah, I think it’s… I’ve done a few things, but not really anything significant yet. I think it’s just… Most importantly, I think I’m trying to improve and evolve my game as much as I can and learn from each year. And I would say I’m still relatively young on the Tour, 28. And I think I’ve got a lot of big goals that I want to achieve. And I think it starts with giving myself the best chance to win a Grand Slam. And how I can do that is evolving my game, trying to add a few things to my game, improving in all departments, and trying to stay mentally as fresh as I can and surround myself with the best people to give myself the best chance of doing that.

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