Cameron Norrie’s ex-coach tells of moped crash that changed player’s life

Cameron Norrie’s ex-coach tells of moped crash that changed player’s life

The coach who has been credited with helping to turn Cameron Norrie’s life around after an accident has said he could not be prouder of the professional tennis player he is now.

Norrie, who will play Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s singles semi-final on Friday, has previously said a turning point of his career was when he was involved in a moped crash in his second year of university, which became a “wake-up call” he needed to take his tennis career seriously.

David Roditi, who coached the Briton when Norrie was a student at Texas Christian University, said the accident was “the tip of the iceberg” and he was part of a meeting with Norrie afterwards.

“He didn’t say a lot,” Roditi recalled. “It wasn’t a contentious meeting. It was just letting him know we felt he was at a crossroad and he needed to choose.”

He said that initially Norrie wanted to be a “normal” teenager attending university and that “he thought he wasn’t ready to be a dedicated tennis player”.

“He was just a typical 19- to 20-year-old. At that age you want to have fun, you want to be social, have a couple of beers and chase girls,” Roditi said.

However, after the accident Norrie decided to dedicate himself to the sport. “After [the crash] the coaches really kicked me into gear and I was definitely more professional after that. I grew up a lot after that. From then on I was like, OK, I want to play tennis and commit to that and do that,” Norrie said.

Roditi said there was no doubt Norrie was “one of the best – if not the best – tennis prospects in the college system”.

“We are so proud he is recognised as one of the hardest-working players,” Roditi added. “We couldn’t be prouder of the professional tennis player he is now. What a great role model he has become.”

Norrie’s girlfriend, Louise Jacobi, has said watching him win his quarter-final match against Belgium’s David Goffin was “surreal”.

Jacobi said her boyfriend’s dream was 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,” she said.

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