Greek-Australia tennis player Jaimee Fourlis has played across the world in some of the sport’s greatest tournaments, but one of her greatest and most recent honours now includes having a court named after her.
The Trichopoulos Tennis Club in Agrinio named their brand new court the “Jaimee Fourlis COURT” during the tennis player’s recent visit to Greece.
“It’s really cool, I honestly didn’t expect it! I went to the club with my aunty because at the time I was a little injured in Greece and I needed somewhere to train and my aunty told me there was a club up the road. I had a couple of hits with her and Nick, the coach and owner of the club messaged me on Instagram saying ‘Hi, I didn’t realise you were a tennis player and I would love to meet you and ask you a question when you come back’,” Fourlis told Neos Kosmos.
“When I got there, there were like a bunch of kids that wanted my autograph. He like had all his juniors come down, which was so nice and honestly so incredible seeing so many young Greek kids playing tennis.”
Coach Nick took the young Greek-Australian to the Club’s new court and popped the question, asking if Fourlis would accept the invitation to have it named after her.
“I didn’t know what to say, it’s the first time that’s every happened to me. I said ‘Of course! That’s amazing!’…I went back the next day and the sign was already up, it was an amazing feeling,” she said.
The 22-year-old was taken aback by the Club’s kindness located in the town her family hails from, and has since made a promise to return as soon as possible.
“It means I have to come back every year and see it!”
Fourlis’ visit to Greece at the time was meant to be a surprise visit and she had only planned to stay for one week. Much to her own surprise, one week turned into four due to ongoing pandemic interruptions.
“Originally I was meant to be there for one week, I was staying at my cousin’s house. I ended up staying for four weeks because I couldn’t get a flight out back to Australia. I slept in the bed and my cousin slept on the couch for four weeks, so I felt terrible! I hadn’t seen them for three, four years, and with COVID it made things difficult. I went there to surprise my aunty and uncle, they didn’t know I was coming,” she said.
Fourlis is not stranger to being away from her family back in Australia as she goes head to head with players like Caroline Wozniacki (French Open, 2017), but she has not let the jet setting, Grand Slams and tennis court dedications get to her head, always remembering who got her there in the first place.
“I’m not home so it’s a little bit hard, but I make sure I have that connection and that drive. My family will always be there for me and will always push me and I will always do the same. My parents have sacrificed a lot for me to be where I am in terms of time and money, so I think I owe it all to them and hopefully like I can give it back to them when hopefully I make top 100 in the world or top ten. That’s the ultimate goal.”