Emma Raducanu: The 18-year-old British U.S. Open winner who stunned the tennis world
Emma Raducanu has become the first British woman in 44 years to win a tennis Grand Slam singles title after she defeated fellow teen Leylah Fernandez in the women's U.S. Open final (September 11).
18-year-old Raducanu overpowered the 19-year-old from Canada to win the championship match: 6-4, 6-3.
The Briton, who came to Flushing Meadows ranked 150th in the world, enjoyed something of a fairy-tale run in New York.
She didn't drop a single set throughout the duration of the tournament, playing a total of 10 matches including three in the qualifying rounds.
With victory in the final she is now the first qualifier ever in the Open era to win a Grand Slam.
For close followers of tennis, Raducanu is a name that will likely already ring a bell.
The teenager made headlines around the world earlier this year when she became the youngest British woman ever to make the Round of 16 at Wimbledon.
As Radacanu leapfrogs the world standings to take up the world number 23 spot here’s what you need to know about the tennis star rewriting sporting history.
1. Emma Raducanu: a short biography
Emma Raducanu was born on November 13, 2002 in Toronto, Canada to Renee and Ian Raducanu.
While her mother is Chinese and her father Romanian, the tennis prodigy competes under the British flag following her move from Canada to Bromley, south London, at the age of two.
Growing up an only child, Raducanu’s parents pushed her into all sorts of extracurricular activities including ballet, tap dancing, karting, motocross, and golf.
At the age of five, she picked up her first tennis racquet at the Bromley Tennis Centre.
Raducanu’s other hobbies quickly gave way after she made the decision to fully commit to tennis.
2 - Dina Asher-Smith connection
They may well both be British sporting superstars, but there is another thing that 200m 2019 world champion Asher-Smith and Raducanu have in common.
They both attended the same school.
Though the pair were never at Newstead Wood School at the same time – with Asher-Smith leaving as Raducanu joined – the tennis star credits the way the school allowed her to play and study side-by-side:
3 - Making history at home on the courts of Wimbledon
If tennis teaches anything, it is that sport is about seizing opportunity.
At her maiden Grand Slam appearance, Raducanu did just that.
After her impressive run at the ITF 100K in Nottingham, where the Briton reached the quarterfinals, the AELTC rewarded the teenager with a main-draw wildcard for Wimbledon.
The move paid dividends as Raducanu soared into the second week at the famed grass court tournament, sending home then world number 45 Sorana Cirstea and 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova.
Not even her parents were anticipating such success:
“It’s funny because when I was packing to come into the bubble my parents said ‘Aren’t you packing too many sets of match kit?” Raducanu said at the time.
“I think I’m going to have to do some laundry tonight, but I think they have a laundry service at the hotel so I’m all good.”
4 - Her tennis idols are Simona Halep and Li Na
There are two great tennis icons that inspire Raducanu’s play: Simona Halep and Li Na.
More specifically, she singles out Halep’s athleticism and there is a full list for Li:
“I loved her mentality, she never complained. That’s something I aspire to be like.”
5 - She has a lot of famous fans
Thanks to Raducanu's masterful stroke play and entertaining style, the tennis sensation can count some famous faces among her fans.
After her dreamlike Wimbledon campaign in July, she caught the notice of none other than astronaut Tim Peake and Oasis front man Liam Gallagher.
Peake, who is currently stationed out in space, shared the following post on his social media:
While Gallagher kept it short and sweet:
“Emma Raducanu BIBLICAL”