Monday, December 13, 2021

Norrie's coach receives ATP year-end award

Cameron Norrie soared from No. 74 at the start of 2021 to
No. 12 in the year-end rankings. 2016 photo by Paul Bauman
   Facundo Lugones was voted the ATP Coach of the Year by players for helping Cameron Norrie of Great Britain soar to No. 12 in the year-end rankings. 
   Lugones, 29, of Argentina is only three years older than Norrie. They were teammates at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in 2014-15.
   Norrie, ranked No. 74 at the beginning of 2021, won his first two ATP Tour titles in Los Cabos and Indian Wells. The left-hander played two matches as an alternate in the Nitto ATP Finals after Stefanos Tsitsipas' withdrawal, losing to No. 8 Casper Ruud and No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
    Norrie won back-to-back Northern California Challengers in Tiburon and Stockton in 2017. In Stockton, Norrie was compared to his countryman Andy Murray
   Lugones was selected over Gilles Cervara (Daniil Medvedev), Christian Ruud (Casper Ruud), Craig Boynton (Hubert Hurkacz) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (Carlos Alcaraz). 
   Medvedev, 25, won his first Grand Slam title in the U.S. Open and finished the year at No. 2.
   Ruud, 22, and Hurkacz, 24, ended 2021 at No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Christian Ruud, Casper's father, peaked at No. 39 in 1995. 
   Alcaraz, who turned 18 in May, jumped from No. 141 to No. 32 in the year-end rankings. 
   The ATP will announce the Comeback Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year this week. Nominees include NorCal products Mackenzie McDonald (Comeback Player) and Jenson Brooksby (Newcomer).
   Both McDonald, 26, and Brooksby, 21, skyrocketed to the top 60, reached their first ATP final and advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament (McDonald for the second time). McDonald underwent hamstring surgery in June 2019.

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