Who Is Emma Raducanu?

Emma Răducanu has been called “the future of women’s tennis” and “the new darling” of the British set. And if you’ve been following her 2021 Wimbledon journey, it’s easy to see why. In her first ever Grand Slam, the 18-year-old player has already made a serious impression, most notably when she walked away victorious having beaten 19th seed Sorana Cirstea 6-3 7-5.

Sadly, Răducanu’s winning streak came to a sudden halt on Monday, July 5. At first the young star didn’t miss a beat against Ajla Tomljanović on Court 1, presenting herself as a worthy opponent to the Croatian Australian player. But, during the second set, Răducanu had to step away from the court due to breathing difficulties and, eventually, the game given to Tomljanović.

While she won’t be appearing on the Wimbledon courts again in 2021, Răducanu’s future still certainly looks bright. Her success is all the more impressive when you consider she is still finishing up school and tackling her exams during a pandemic…

If you’re not a huge fan of elite tennis then you’d be forgiven for thinking Răducanu has sprung up out of nowhere. However, the young player’s current success has come as the result of 13 years of hard graft. If you want to find out more about Răducanu, you’ll find five facts below to get you started.

She Was A Wimbledon Wildcard

In order to play at Wimbledon (or other Grand Slam tournaments) you need to rank among the top 104 players who have signed up, win three rounds in the qualifying stages, or be chosen as a “wild card”. Typically, My Tennis HQ outlines, 104 people play through ranking, 16 get through on qualifying, and eight going in as wild cards. As Raducan is currently ranked 338 in the world she got through to the competition after being chosen as a wild card.

While you wouldn’t know it from watching her play, Raducanu has only played one Women’s Tennis Association match before she came to Wimbledon. She played in the juniors tournament three times.

She’s already broken the record as the youngest British woman to make the last 16 of Wimbledon and she’s the fourth British teen to make it to the second week since Open Tennis began.

She Started Playing Tennis At Age 5

Raducanu was born in Toronto to a Chinese mother and a Romanian father. It’s been reported that the family moved to the UK when she was two and that she first started playing tennis with her parents casually in the park when she was five. From there, she started playing at the Bromley Tennis Academy in Bromley, south east London.

Raducanu’s headteacher from Newstead School, Alan Blount, has been watching her in action and told the PA news agency, “Emma has been with us since year seven when she was 11 years old and she’s always been tipped for great things. Obviously, you can’t look into the future and you don’t know if it is going to come good, but we knew she was heading for great things. If everything was right she was going to be the next big thing and look, here she is.”

She Juggled Elite Tennis & A-Level Exams

Starting playing tennis so young meant that Raducanu has had to juggle school with training and tournaments. In 2020 she started working on her A-Levels. She’s been negotiating at-home learning with rigorous training and the anticipation of her first Wimbledon as a senior player.

Raducanu revealed in The Sun that studying for her final exams may have given her a surprise edge. She said, “It was a bit of an escape for me, to have another thing going alongside my tennis. It’s actually helped me with my on-court career as I can absorb a lot of information. On court, I’m more tactically astute than some others.”

She Has A Passion For Motocross, Too

She may be the next biggest thing to hit the professional tennis scene, but Raducanu has revealed in interviews that her parents encouraged her to try a lot of different hobbies and a few surprising ones stuck. “I started my very short go-karting career in a bus garage in Streatham before going to a proper track,” she told the Sunday Times. “From the age of nine, I started motocross in a forest somewhere for a year. This was all alongside tennis.”

The Evening Standard writes that when she was younger her parents let her dip her toes into horse riding, swimming, basketball, golf, skiing, ballet and tap dancing but tennis and go-karting were where she found her feet.

She Has A Connection To Andy Murray

Andy Murray is one of the most-loved British sportspeople in the UK. And even before she stepped foot on Court 1 at Wimbledon, Raducanu had an unexpected connection to him.

Andy Murray’s father-in-law, international tennis coach Nigel Sears, is Raducanu’s trainer. “Quite frankly, I think the sky’s the limit,” Sears said of Raducanu early in her career. “She has the necessary qualities and she’s hungry enough and eager to learn. She’s ambitious and given the right opportunities and match experience, she’ll make good progress. It’s really up to her how far she goes.”

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