British teenager Emma Raducanu on Saturday defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 to win the US Open women's final. With the win, the 18-year-old became the youngest Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at 2004 Wimbledon.
Who is Emma Raducanu?
Emma Raducanu is an 18-year-old tennis player who was born in Toronto but is living in the United Kingdom from the age of two. As per the critics, she is one of the brightest prospects in British and world tennis. She won her first ITF $15K title in May 2018 and followed it with her first ITF $25K title in December 2019.
In Juniors, the teenager qualified for back-to-back quarters of Wimbledon and US Open in 2018. She was 13 when she won her first Junior ITF title, it was the earliest age when one is allowed to compete.
In 2021, she made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon and became the youngest British woman to progress to the last 16 of the Championships in the Open Era.
The teenage sensation is supported by the LTA Pro Scholarship Programme.
Before creating waves in the tennis world and taking Wimbledon by storm, A-level results were Emma's focus. She had been juggling her studies and tennis for a year and gave lower-level tournaments a miss. Instead, she sat for her mathematics and economics examinations at Newstead School. Even though she scored an 'A' grade in those subjects, she maintained that her focus is tennis.
The teenager thanked her school for helping her with tennis.
"I find it's actually helped me with my on-court career as well in the way that I can absorb a lot of information. I feel that on court I'm more tactically astute than some others," WTA quoted her as saying.
James Carlton, manager at the Bromley Tennis Centre, where Emma trained from 10-year-old to 16-year-old, said that Emma is determined, single-minded, hard-working.
Carlton said that Emma would often be seen working on schoolwork in between sessions. "Doing that (playing sessions) while maintaining her schooling and academia is even more impressive," Carlton said.
Emma moved to London when she was two and started playing tennis at five. However, it was just an extra-curricular activity. She would be taken to the training centre by her mother Renee from China, and her father Ian, who was from Romania.
Her extracurricular ranged from ballet lessons to dirt biking. Eventually, tennis started becoming her numero uno focus.
Her juniors career accelerated after she received a world ranking of 20 in 2018.
Emma made her WTA Tour main draw debut in May at the Nottingham Open. She lost 4-6, 3-6 to compatriot Harriet Dart in the first round. However, she made the quarters of the lower-level tournament the following week at the same venue.
This prompted Wimbledon to give her a wild card entry in the women's singles main draw and the rest is history.