The girlfriend of Britain’s number one, Cameron Norrie, has spoken about their romance and what he is like off the court for the first time.
American entrepreneur Louise Jacobi met Norrie at a New York bar three years ago and has been travelling around the world to support him ever since.
Ms Jacobi was in tears after watching her boyfriend defeat Belgium’s David Goffin in front of thousands of spectators including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Tuesday.
The 32 year-old said: “It was surreal. When your significant other is crying in front of you – like choking up – how could I keep a dry eye?
“I remember him saying when we first met: ‘Oh, my dream would be to be in the top 10.’
“Back then I didn’t know it was going to transpire, and just watching his hard work pay off has been insane.”
Norrie became Britain’s number one after winning the ATP tournament at Indian Wells last October and he broke into the world top 10 for the first time in April.
Ms Jacobi, who has a fine art degree from the University of Michigan, revealed to the PA news agency how initially she “just wasn’t interested” in the Johannesburg-born 26-year-old because he was always away on tennis tours.
But it was Norrie’s “persistence” and the fact he did “an amazing job at keeping in touch” even when they were thousands of miles apart that allowed their early relationship to flourish.
In October 2019, Ms Jacobi’s former employer went bankrupt and she lost her job – so Norrie asked her to join him at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria.
When asked what Norrie is like off the court, Ms Jacobi said: “Pretty similar to on the court, in the sense that he’s very calm, very level-headed, easy-going and takes things as they come.
“That’s pretty much exactly how he is.
“He loves golf and he loves playing with his trainer who stays with us a lot – backgammon, playing with their Rubik’s Cubes, timing each other and stuff like that.
“When he retires I want to go skiing with him, but right now is not the time.”
On whether she had any apprehensions about being thrust into the limelight following Norrie’s sky-rocket to success, Ms Jacobi said: “Not necessarily.
“For the most part he and I try to keep our personal lives private.
“For both of us, trying to maintain a sense of normalcy is something we definitely agree on.”
As a tennis novice, Ms Jacobi said her support comes in the form of helping keep Norrie calm.
She added: “But I definitely, in a lot of ways, help keep his mind off of tennis, give him some sort of separation, and keep him calm.”
When asked about how she was feeling for Norrie’s next game against the defending champion, Novak Djokovic, Ms Jacobi said: “It’s definitely going to be a tough match.
“But I know he can do it.”
Norrie will face the Serbian 20-time grand slam winner at Wimbledon on Friday.
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