Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu

Since September, Emma Raducanu’s name has been plastered everywhere. Another fine young woman gracing our screens and news and for good reason! We always love to see a woman climbing the ladder but especially when she is ridiculously young and Emma has shown us how to be brave and confident whilst remaining extremely humble. Tennis fan or not, you cannot deny the incredible win Raducanu had at such a young age. I think she has achieved more in the last 6 months than I have in the last 6 years! It’s incredibly inspiring and I am loving seeing her smash glass ceilings in female tennis. 

Who is Emma Raducanu?

I’m sure by now you have all heard her name at least somewhere. Emma Raducanu was born on the 13th November 2002 in Toronto, Canada. Her father is from Bucharest and her mother is from Romania, both working in the finance sector. Emma moved with her parents to the UK when she was just two years old. If you didn’t already know (and if you don’t… get to know!) Emma is a famous tennis player. She started playing tennis when she was only 5 years old, and participated in various sports and activities, including basketball, golf, karting, skiing, horse riding and ballet; although it seems the good old fashioned racket was the one that stuck around.

How did she become well known?

Emma rose to ‘fame’ (if you like) after her debut at the US Open, making her Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour debut in June 2021. She entered as a wild card at Wimbledon, and was ranked outside the top 300. She reached the fourth round in her first major tournament, which considering her age, was already an amazing achievement! Raducanu turned professional in 2018, alternating between junior and professional tournaments during 2018 and 2019. Throughout 2019, Emma won a couple of tournaments in India, one providing her with $25,000 of winnings! Due to the ever famous COVID pandemic (sick of those words yet?), many tennis events were cancelled in 2020. Raducanu competed in small tournaments in the UK and won the LTA British Tour Masters title in December 2020. As if that wasn’t enough to be concentrating on, she also dedicated time to preparing for her A-Levels, which she took in 2021. 

At the end of June, Raducanu made her main Grand Slam debut on a wildcard entry into the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. She advanced to the third round and was the youngest British woman to reach the Wimbledon third round since Elena Baltacha in 2002. After defeating Sorana Cîrstea she reached the fourth round, becoming, at 18 years and 239 days old, the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the Open Era. As a result, she entered the world’s top 200, having been ranked world number 338 at the start of Wimbledon – not too shabby! 

The US tennis open

If you didn’t manage to catch the match, I’m hoping you’ve already gathered Emma smashed it (literally) and won the US Open! 18 year old Raducanu ended her scarcely believable run in New York with a 6-4 6-3 win over her 19 year old Canadian opponent in a mega intense final, potentially one of the most dramatic in years. Two young women battling it out is what we love to see! Emma collapsed to the floor when she served an incredible shot that ended the match, in utter shock that she had finally won. Both shared a hug as they separated to celebrate with cheering from an emotional Virginia Wade, who was the last British woman to win a major trophy at Wimbledon in 1977. She took home a whopping £1.8 million in prize money, rose to number 23 in the world and is now the British number 1! This is arguably one of the biggest moments in British sporting history, with fans all over the world celebrating her immense success. 

With the victory, Emma Raducanu becomes:

  • The first British female winner at the US Open since Virginia Wade in 1968
  • The first qualifier in the Open era to win a Slam
  • The youngest women’s Slam champion since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004
  • The youngest Briton to win a Grand Slam title
  • The first woman to win the US Open without dropping a set since Serena Williams in 2014

Clare Balding put it extremely well when she said “I think what Emma Raducanu’s story shows us is not only that you can have an education at the same time as being a sportswoman, and of course, she was doing her A-Levels only just this last spring/summer, but also you can bounce back”. Emma struggled to breathe at Wimbledon and for a minute it was clearly concerning that she may not even compete in the US Open. Nevertheless, she defied all odds. After the win, Emma claimed she wouldn’t let her newfound fame stop her from reaching her potential.  Despite being catapulted to stardom, she also revealed some things hadn’t changed after her historic win, joking: “Honestly, I can’t even get a court at my local club!”. What I love even more about Raducanu is how humble she is, talking in interviews about how she still has more to improve on and changes to make, staying laser focussed on what’s ahead and not getting too caught up in the buzz of the win. 

The teenager, who was playing only her second slam, said the win still seems a bit surreal. In an interview with Sky News Raducanu explained, “It’s funny because sometimes I’ll just have random bursts where I’m like, ‘oh my god, I just won the US Open!’… It’s a strange feeling to comprehend, but watching the match last night helped it sink in.” She went onto explain how she felt more stressed watching back her win than playing in it saying “watching is definitely more stressful than playing because you feel like you have control at least when you’re playing.”

Emma Raducanu is also set to help invest in the next generation of British female tennis champions. Wonderfully, Amazon Prime Video sold the rights to broadcast the 18-year-old’s historic US Open final for a reported seven figures, committing to reinvesting the money into future stars of the sport. Since then, it was announced that Emma will support and offer advice to Prime on the best places to send the money, when attempting to find her future successors, after all, she would know where the money would best be directed.

What’s next for Emma?

More, more and more tennis! Oh, and some good old fashioned R&R.  According to many avid tennis fans and professionals, Raducanu is going to be a multi-millionaire and she has already made almost a million pounds from on-court earnings! According to Tim Lopez, director of CSM (a major sport and entertainment company) “From a financial perspective she can’t lose and from a career prospect, in terms of how the future looks, she really is at the tip of the iceberg at this point in terms of her earning potential.” Raducanu is only 18, compared to the incredible Serena Williams who is 39, so over a 20 year career if she continues at the rate she is going and won at least double-digit major grand slam events, she could be into hundreds of millions of dollars. Her potential earnings through the sport is insane. It seems everyone is rooting for the young woman, wanting her to succeed and follow in Serena Williams’ impressive footsteps. She has already been in Vogue!

The possibilities are endless for Emma and I am so happy to see another young woman absolutely bossing the world of sport. I don’t think we see enough of it. Although there have been dramatic improvements, women’s sport coverage is often not as ‘hyped up’ as mens but since Raducanus’ win it really got the whole world talking. As someone who is older than Emma myself I am in awe of her courage and determination to prove herself and climb the rankings, all whilst remaining a humble teenager. I know I am not alone when I say I am excited to see her on our screens again, hopefully winning more titles, although I am sure she’s ready for a little break by now. 




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