Emma Raducanu’s stunning run on her first appearance at the US Open continued as she advanced to the quarter-finals following a dominant victory over Shelby Rogers, becoming the youngest British player to reach the last eight in New York in the Open era.
The 18-year-old has yet to drop a set in reaching the quarter-finals, where she will play Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Belinda Bencic, as she continued her impressive form which saw the Briton reach the fourth round at Wimbledon this summer in a fairytale run at SW19.
Raducanu was a unknown wildcard at the All England Club, ranked world number 338, and had only just completed her A-Levels but progressed to the second week of the tournament, where she eventually had to retire in heart-breaking circumstances when she suffered breathing difficulties as she trailed Ajla Tomljanovic.
The Londoner has gained further experience of life on the professional tour following her breakthrough at Wimbledon and says she is playing the best tennis of her life at Flushing Meadows. “From my own perspective, I’m playing better tennis here than I did at Wimbledon,” she said. “Being on the hard courts, they’re less forgiving than the grass. But I think with the amount of matches I’ve played and the experience that I have accumulated in the last four or five weeks, my game is just getting better and better with each match.”
She now faces the toughest test of her young career when she plays world number 12 Bencic on Wednesday evening. Here, we take a closer look at the next rising star of British tennis:
Before breaking onto centre stage at Wimbledon, the focus of Raducanu’s summer were her A-Level results. The teenager has been combining her studies with her tennis over the last 12 months, choosing not to travel to lower-level tournaments abroad, and sat exams in maths and economics at Newstead School. Despite receiving an A in maths and an A* in economics, Raducanu insists she is focused on a career in tennis.
Raducanu was actually born in Toronto in 2002 to a Chinese mother and Romanian father and the family moved over to England when she was two. Although she has lived in London, she has fond memories of going to see her grandmother in Romania. She said: “My grandma, Mamiya, still lives in central Bucharest. I go back a couple times a year, stay with her, see her. It’s really nice. I love the food, to be honest. I mean, the food is unbelievable. And my grandma’s cooking is also something special. I do have ties to Bucharest.”
A sporting youth
It was perhaps inevitable Raducanu would have a career in professional sport, given the way her father pushed her as a youngster. She started off attending ballet classes, but her father decided sport was the way forward and had his daughter do horse riding, swimming, tap dancing, basketball, skiing, golf, go-karting and motocross, all alongside her tennis practice.
A recent debut
It is incredible to think that Raducanu only made her first WTA Tour main draw appearance in May at the Nottingham Open. She lost 6-4 6-3 to compatriot Harriet Dart in the first round before making the quarter-finals of a lower-level tournament at the same venue the following week. That persuaded Wimbledon to offer her a wild card into the main draw and the rest is history.
Success at an early age
She has some sort of form at Wimbledon, having made it to the 2018 juniors quarter-finals where she came up against future French Open winner Iga Swiatek Raducanu followed that up with a run to the same stage of the US Open juniors a few months later. She won the first ITF junior title she was allowed to compete in, aged just 13.
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