STARNBERG, September 29, 2021 (Guest Post)
Emma Raducanu was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on November 13, 2002, to Ian and Renee Raducanu. Her parents hail from Bucharest, Romania, and Shenyang, China, respectively. Emma has shared how her tennis idols, Simona Halep and Li Na, both from countries of her descent, influenced her thinking and ethics. When she was two years old, her family relocated to England. Here she began playing tennis when she was only five years old. If you were to bet on the tennis then, nobody could have predicted this young star’s rapid rise in such a short space of time.
A rise to stardom
Raducanu’s career-high WTA singles ranking was No. 338, before her debut outing at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. With a wildcard invitation to Wimbledon 2021, she advanced to the fourth round and rose to No. 179 in the world. She reached the 125k Oracle Challenger Tournament final in Chicago on August 23, 2021, and climbed to No. 150 in the rankings.
The triumph of British teenager, Emma Raducanu, over American Shelby Rogers in straight sets at the US Open, was nothing short of thrilling. It was exciting for all the reasons we enjoy watching tennis: the thrill of the underdog victory, the obvious comparisons to other, wayward, young stars like Becker, and of course, the fact that she is British. Raducanu gave it her all on the world stage in the post-Brexit period, and she exceeded all expectations.
Virginia Wade, the last British woman to win the title at Flushing Meadows in 1968, and the grand dowager of the British women’s game, rose to her feet in the grandstand to celebrate the 18-year-bravery old’s as she won 12 of the final 13 games, and dispatched Rogers in just over an hour. Not bad for a wildcard qualifier, who is only the third qualifier to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open in the history of the event.
The success continues
At such a young age, Raducanu has already demonstrated her desire to win and has handled her victory in a manner that other players on tour should take note of. She thanked Wade for watching her match and posed for photographs with her fans after winning.
Fast forward 24 hours, and this talented young lady broke yet another record. Emma Raducanu is expected to go beyond tennis and help fuel the rapid expansion of women’s sport in the United Kingdom. Raducanu made history at the US Open by becoming the first qualifier – male or female – to reach the semi-finals. The 18-year-old swept into the final four in New York, defeating 11th seed and Olympic champion, Belinda Bencic, 6-3 6-4, surpassing her previous best of reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in July.
Raducanu arrived at Wimbledon in early 2021 as an unknown wildcard, ranked 338 in the world, and only played one WTA Tour-level match. Despite this, she made a dramatic debut on the huge stage, having just finished her A-Level exams. She became one of the tournament’s biggest stories after defeating Vitalia Diatchenko, Marketa Vondrousova, and world number 45 Sorana Cirstea.
Her victory made her the first British woman to reach the second week of Wimbledon since 1959. However, her streak ended in disappointing circumstances when she was forced to withdraw against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, due to respiratory problems. This outcome led to her first encounter with the harsh media glare as her resolve was questioned.
Just the beginning
Raducanu made her maiden WTA Tour main draw debut at this year’s Nottingham Open, which is fantastic. She lost 6-4, 6-3 in the first round against compatriot Harriet Dart before reaching the quarterfinals of a lower-level tournament the following week at the exact location. Wimbledon decided to give her a wildcard into the main draw as a result of this.
Raducanu’s first ITF junior title came when she turned 13, the earliest age at which she was eligible to participate. In May 2018, she won her maiden ITF professional title in Israel. She’s also had some success at the US Open, having advanced to the quarterfinals of the junior event in 2018, the same year she reached the Wimbledon equivalent’s last eight.
Raducanu has come a long way since being ranked in the world for the first time in 2018. She was ranked 692 at the end of the year. She had risen to 503 after a year and was 343 by the end of 2020. Her success at Wimbledon propelled her to a career-high of 179. Her efforts in New York have ensured that she is now ranked World No. 22, being the British number one.