• September 19, 2021

Exclusive: Who is Emma Raducanu? The ‘fearless’ US Open champion who became first British woman to win major tournament in 44 years and got a message from the Queen after Grand Slam glory

 Exclusive: Who is Emma Raducanu? The ‘fearless’ US Open champion who became first British woman to win major tournament in 44 years and got a message from the Queen after Grand Slam glory


Emma Raducanu has accomplished one of the greatest sporting achievements of all time – winning the US Open at just 18 years old.

The British sensation defeated fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 in an entralling final to seal a barely believable victory in New York.

The youngster is a phenomenon and Britain has a new sporting superstar

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The youngster is a phenomenon and Britain has a new sporting superstar

The British game had been waiting for a new star to take over from Andy Murray and in Raducanu, fans now have a name to cheer for over the coming years.

Raducanu is the first British woman since Virginia Wade, who was watching from the stands, 44 years ago to win a Grand Slam singles title.

A star has undoubtedly been born but who is this exciting young star? Let’s take a look…

Toronto born

Raducanu was born on November 13, 2002 in Toronto, Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother.

Having moved to England at the age of two, she took up tennis at the age of five while attending Grammar School in Bromley where she achieved A* in A-Level Maths and an A in Economics.

However, at the age of 16 she made the decision to become a professional tennis player.

Raducanu was superb at Wimbledon earlier this year

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Raducanu was superb at Wimbledon earlier this year

She has gone from strength to strength since

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She has gone from strength to strength since

Emerging star

After making her name with a wildcard appearance at the WTA Nottingham Open, Raducanu made her main draw Grand Slam debut as a wildcard entrant to the 2021 Wimbledon Championship.

It was there that she progressed to the fourth round of the competition with victories over Vitalia Diatchenko and Marketa Vondrousova in the first two rounds before beating Sorana Cirstea to become the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the open era.

Despite being knocked out in the fourth round by Ajla Tomljanovic after retiring due to breathing difficulties, Raducanu saw her ranking increase from 338 in the world to 186.

She then reached the final of the WTA 125 tournaments event in Chicago where she lost to Clara Tauson, but despite the disappointment this took her ranking to 150 in the world.

Raducanu posed for the trophy on Arthur Ashe Court after the crowd were long gone

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Raducanu posed for the trophy on Arthur Ashe Court after the crowd were long gone

The US Open

Raducanu has really announced herself as a future star with her performances at the 2021 US Open – which she won in incredible fashion.

After progressing through the qualifiers in Flushing Meadows, New York., the unseeded 18-year-old defeated Stefanie Voegele, Zhang Shuai and Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first three rounds of the competition to set up a clash with Shelby Rogers in the fourth round.

Raducanu progressed to the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over the American tennis star, setting up a last-eight clash with Olympic champion Belinda Bencic which she won in straight sets to become the first qualifier ever to reach the last four of the US Open.

The 18-year-old then defied expectations again with a victory over Maria Sakkori to secure a place in the US Open final.

Raducanu then won the US Open final in style and she is set for a serious windfall now she is the champion.

The British tennis sensation did not drop a single set in New York and becomes £1.8m richer after her win on Saturday evening.

Following her win, Her Majesty congratulated the teenager, saying: “It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication.”

Raducanu did not drop a set at the US Open

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Raducanu did not drop a set at the US Open

What has been said?

Former British star Annabel Croft told talkSPORT: “People are surprised how quickly it has happened. 

“Normally when you go from the juniors and then stepping up through the different levels of events to the main tour, it takes a little bit of adjustment.

“She has come out and blitzed it and is blitzing opponents in just an hour on court playing sensational tennis.

“She looks very secure on all the ground strokes, she is very aggressive and comes out of the blocks very quickly and it rushes opponents and gets into their psyche very quickly as it sets the tone for the match.

Raducanu saw off 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez to win the US Open

Raducanu saw off 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez to win the US Open

“She is very mentally strong and has a very nice disposition and composure, beautiful smile that engages all the crowd.

“She has already become incredibly popular in America.

“The world is her oyster. You never like to put a figure on it, but I feel like it is limitless. I see her winning Grand Slam titles and being right at the top of the game.

“Women’s tennis is looking fantastic at the moment, there’s a lot of youngsters breaking through who are all very good and have different styles and different personalities.

“We are going to get a lot of heavyweight clashes and rivalries to look forward to, but I do feel like she has everything.

“She reminds me, not of her game but her competitive spirit, of Andy Murray when we first saw him when he was a teenager.

Raducanu thanked Henman after her exceptional win

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Raducanu thanked Henman after her exceptional win

“When he got the bit between his teeth he would not bow down to opponents and she has a very similar strength of character when she is playing.”

Judy Murray had some praise of her own, telling talkSPORT: “It’s just incredible, it’s a fairytale.

“The first time I ran across her was when I ran an Under-10 girls’ training squad at the National Tennis Centre in London and she was one of the players, she must have been nine or ten at that point.

“What impressed me then was she asked a lot of questions, she was very smart and very good, she concentrated very well and at that age that’s not so easy often for kids.

“I didn’t see so much of her in the years beyond that but she was always around and continued to focus, not just on her tennis but very much on her schooling – in June she was sitting her A-Levels.

“She’s not quite come out of nowhere, but at this scale of event she’s come out of nowhere, for sure.

“She didn’t expect to get through, but look at what she has done, she hasn’t dropped a set, it’s absolutely incredible!

“She’s really captured the imagination, not just with her tennis but with the way she’s gone about it, she’s got this wonderful smile and a really engaging personality, so she’s really burst into our consciousness. 

“She will be great for tennis in this country, especially for girls’ tennis.

“She’s fearless, she has nothing to lose and she’s said herself, she’s out there to enjoy it, she’s on the biggest stage in the world.”





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