It has been a whirlwind 48 hours for Emma Raducanu as her new life as one of the biggest names in sport begins.
Just three weeks ago, she was the relatively unknown 18-year-old from Bromley and ranked the 150th women’s tennis player in the world.
This did not give her automatic entry to the US Open and needed to win three matches to get into the main draw.
What happened next was simply remarkable as she became the first ever qualifier to win a grand slam when she beat fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final.
Raducanu also became the first British woman to win a major title since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Supporters all over the globe have been captivated by her story and has catapulted her into the mainstream.
She has become popular with Chinese tennis fans thanks to her message delivered in Mandarin, a language she speaks fluently with her mother, Renee, hailing from Shenyang.
Even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he was a fan of Raducanu’s in a press conference on Tuesday.
After picking up $2.5million for winning the US Open, she stayed in New York for a little bit of sightseeing and was blown away with some of the things that has happened.
She even saw her face plastered on the famous electronic billboards in Times Square, and she posed for a photograph with them in the background.
Raducanu also appeared on the TV screens of millions as she went on Good Morning America and The Today Show in the United States.
Both shows get around three million viewers daily and she took the opportunity to talk about her parents, who had to watch on from home in south east London due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“They are my toughest critics, they are very hard to please but I got them with this one,” she told Good Morning America. “It was really nice to talk to them after I won. They were just so happy and proud of me.”
Raducanu then joined A-list celebrities on the red carpet of the Met Gala on Monday night, where she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams, F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and countless others.
The teenager even got the John Terry treatment, as some wise-cracking fan photoshopped the Chelsea legend in full kit celebrating her victory – as a hark back to the 2012 Champions League final.
She will soon be bringing her US Open trophy back to Bromley, returning a global superstar with millions of new fans.
And one of them is Liverpool boss Klopp, who admits he’ll be viewing more women’s tennis from now on after watching Raducanu’s brilliant performance in the final.
He branded the Brit’s powerful display ‘inspiring’.
“I watched the final and it was absolutely impressive,” Klopp said.
“It’s long ago since I had watched a full tennis game, it’s [even longer] since I had watched a full women’s tennis game, and I was really impressed by the power, speed, and the whole game.
“These two girls were 18 and 19 and what they showed was massively impressive. Then we watched the trophy ceremonies as well and both girls, how they spoke at 18 and 19, that was inspiring to be honest.
“Maybe even more so than the tennis, and that was inspiring enough. I was absolutely overwhelmed with how they presented themselves.
“Fernandez was obviously disappointed with losing the game, and rightly so as it was really close. Emma showed great respect for her. They knew and hoped that they would face each other again in the future and in more finals.
“So it was just a great display of elite sportsmanship, of elite sport. How humble you can be when you are that young but on top of the world. It was really nice and that’s what I [as a football manager] can take from it.
“About the tennis story I don’t know enough, but when you are 18 years old and able to win the US Open, she’s for sure the talent of the century but without hard work it’s not possible to be there.
“To see her smiling during the game, it’s just the nicest thing. I will watch women’s tennis much more now than I did in the last few years.”
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