Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie set for all-Scottish battle in Cincinnati

World number 11 Norrie takes on Murray in the second round in Ohio on Wednesday.

Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie set for all Scottish battle in Cincinatti SNS GroupSNS Group

Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie are preparing to do battle in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday.

It will be an all-Scottish affair in the US state of Ohio, with Cameron and Norrie having only competed against each other competitively on one previous occasion – at the 2019 China Open in Beijing.

Murray won that match by two sets to one but Norrie has since enjoyed a stratospheric rise up the ATP rankings.

The 26-year-old began 2021 ranked 74th but is now ranked the world number 11.

Murray, on the other hand, is in the twilight of his professional career and is currently ranked number 47.

We know lots about the achievements of Murray, a three-time grand slam winner and two-time Olympic gold medallist – but what of his opponent?

The old joke goes ‘Andy Murray is British when he wins and Scottish when he loses’, but what fate awaits Norrie, the British number one whose dad is from Glasgow?

What is Norrie’s upbringing?

Norrie lived in four different countries by his early 20s. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a Welsh mother and Scottish father, before moving to New Zealand aged just three.

His first experience of tennis was on the driveway of the family home, where he would hit a ball around with a sawn-off squash racket.

But during his adolescence he became the junior world number ten – competing in several tournaments and touring Europe when he was 15.

His British heritage placed him on the radar of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and, feeling a lack of support from the New Zealand federation, Norrie made the decision to move to London aged 16, switching allegiance in 2013.

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He lived there for three years while his parents stayed in Auckland, before moving to the US state of Texas for university.

He became the top-ranked male college tennis player while studying sociology at Texas Christian University.

Norrie paused his studies in 2017 when he was 20 to turn pro during the grass-court season on the ATP tour. He then resettled back in London where he has trained ever since.

What nationality does Norrie consider himself to be?

“If you hear my dad talk, he’s got a filthy Scottish accent. It’s great, I love it,” Norrie said last year.

His father, David Norrie, is a microbiologist originally from Glasgow, who has travelled to Wimbledon from New Zealand to watch his son in action, along with Cameron’s mother Helen.

Mr Norrie said he struggled to watch the final points of his son’s quarter-final on Tuesday, and Cameron also revealed that his matches are “stressful” for his parents to watch.

He said: “I think every match that I’ve won this week my mum has cried.

“The matches are getting bigger and the moments are getting more special. I think they’re just super happy for me that I’m doing something that I love, and it’s just a bonus that I’m winning. I think it was probably pretty stressful for them today.”

More recently, in response to a question about how British he felt, Norrie said: “It’s pretty interesting, my background is obviously from various places.

“But I’m living here, basing here – I feel good coming back here, practising with the younger Brits.”

When asked about being a figurehead for the British game, he said: “I’m feeling comfortable doing that, and really enjoying playing at this level.

“If I can help any of the younger guys, there’s a big group of guys coming through with a lot of talent, a lot of chances to make it inside the top 100. I can be that guy to lead them on and to show they can do it.”

Norrie is representing Scotland against England at the Battle of the Brits exhibition event in Aberdeen just before Christmas, where he will compete on the same team as Andy and Jamie Murray.

And in the LTA Scotland rankings, the number one’s county is listed as Scotland West.

How has his career progressed?

Norrie broke into the top 100 within a year of going pro.

He made one of the most impressive Davis Cup debuts of all time in February 2018 when he recovered from two sets down to defeat then-world number 23 Roberto Bautista Agut on clay in Spain.

Norrie reached his first ATP final in Auckland the following year, but 2021 was the season where he unexpectedly established himself at the very top of the game.

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He won 52 tour-level singles matches, reaching six finals and winning two, including in Indian Wells, one of the biggest tournaments on the ATP Tour.

From 74 in the rankings at the start of last season, Norrie ended it on the verge of the top ten and qualified for the ATP Finals as an alternate.

Backing up such an incredible season is notoriously difficult, but, after losing his first four matches of the season, Norrie has continued to build, winning his third and fourth ATP Tour titles in Delray Beach and Lyon and cracking the top ten for the first time in April.

At this year’s Wimbledon, Norrie has defeated Spaniard duo Pablo Andújar and Jaume Munar, as well as Americans Steve Johnson and Tommy Paul.

Love games

Norrie has a couple of loves off the court. One is Rangers and another is American entrepreneur Louise Jacobi, 32, who he met at a New York bar three years ago.

She has been travelling around the world to support Norrie since they sparked up a relationship.

Ms Jacobi, who has a fine art degree from the University of Michigan, revealed she “just wasn’t interested” in the 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 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 he asked me, I thought ‘I guess this guy doesn’t live a normal life, and it’s not like I can meet (him) down the street and go to dinner together’,” she recalled.

“So I went on this trip and was only supposed to be in Vienna for five days, and things just went really well. I had a wonderful time with him.

“In some weird way, I was like ‘thank god I got laid off when I did’, because we were able to build the foundation of our relationship before Covid hit.”

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.”

His other romance is with Rangers, with the Ibrox club stating they would “love to welcome” Norrie and his dad to a game at Ibrox this season.

Norrie seems keen to accept the offer of a trip to watch Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side in action, replying: “Love it, definitely be up for it.”

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