A TENNIS STAR IS BORN
By: Angelica Gavaldon
I met Lucas Gomez when he was 9 years old. From the moment he stepped on the court, I knew there was something different about him. He had the confidence and presence of a true champion. Having grown up as a competitive tennis player where my whole life was consumed by the sport and where you don’t get to really have a “normal life,” it makes me admire and respect Lucas even more. After years of having the privilege to guide him and train him, his hard work, discipline and dedication has begun to pay off. Lucas is now ranked the best player in Mexico and is playing all the junior Grand Slams, such as Wimbledon, US OPEN and the Roland Garros tournament where he reached the round of 16. On his way to play Junior Wimbledon, I had a chance to ask him he trains, how he stays fit for competition and what he likes to do when he gets time off.
You recently competed in Junior Roland Garros, tell me how you felt and what kind of experience it was for you?
I feel very fortunate to have been able to compete at Roland Garros. It was a great experience to be there for the second time and be able to see the best players in the world up close. I learn a lot seeing how they train, perform and how disciplined they are with their routines before and after their matches.
Is it hard to adapt to all the different time zones with all the travelling you do?
The first few days are always hard. It usually takes me around two days to adapt and then I am ok. It’s good to train or do a light run as soon as you arrive so you adapt quicker to the time zone.
How hard is it for you to make certain sacrifices to be able to compete at this level?
I started playing tennis very young so it’s been my normal life. I am the one that likes to play and compete; I was the one that decided that tennis is what I wanted to do. Every day after school is what I always did and my weekends are full of tournaments but I have never felt I was sacrificing anything. I make my own personal decisions and I do this because it’s what I have always wanted to do.
What is your dream in tennis?
To be the best player my fitness, talent and mind will let me be.
What is your routine during the day when you are in pre-season?
I am not an early riser. I get up at a reasonable hour, 7 or 8 am but my days end late. My routine consists of two fitness sessions ad two tennis sessions a day. I mix it up. I first do fitness with my trainer in Tijuana; my routine consists of a lot of using my own body weight for tennis and doing a lot of strength training. After fitness I go to Coronado and do a two to three hour tennis session. Depending on my program for that day I work on certain parts of my game and end with one hour of footwork, explosiveness and medicine ball. For my second tennis session I usually do match play and points
What does your diet consist of?
My nutrition has never been very strict. I eat everything; I do take vitamin supplements and proteins. In-between meals I like to snack on protein bars and fruits. For breakfast I eat egg whites, with more protein like turkey, wheat toast and a dairy product like yogurt. I take my morning vitamins and zinc. For lunch I try to make it lighter since I don’t have enough time between training sessions, so it’s usually a turkey sandwich or grilled chicken and vegetables. My dinner is usually a lot heavier, whatever my mom cooks plus I add two glasses of milk with protein powder.
What do you like to do on your day off?
I like to hang out with my friends do normal things that anybody my age does. I don’t get to see my friends a lot so when I am home, I like to spend time with them. During tournaments when I have some time off or when I am resting at the players’ lounge or hotel I like to listen to music and talk to my friends back home.
What music do you like?
I love Electronic Dance Music or house music. I also like some indie bands.
What is your favorite book?
“The Only Way To Win” by Jim Loehr. Jim Loehr is one of the best sports psychologist in the world that has worked with many top pros .
Who is your idol?
Marat Safin, Marcelo Rios. I like their style of play and their personalities.
What is your favorite restaurant in San Diego and Tijuana?
I like Primavera in Coronado Island I usually get pasta al pomodoro with scallops and in Tijuana I like to eat at Casa Plasencia.