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Inside the fascinating life of US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who loves motorsports and is fluent in Mandarin

Insider
Insider
 30 days ago

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Emma Raducanu.
  • Emma Raducanu, 18, is the biggest name in tennis right now.
  • Take a look inside the newly crowned US Open champion's fascinating life below.
  • She loves motorsports, speaks Mandarin, and already has a royal admirer.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories .
Emma Raducanu became the youngest female US Open champion in over two decades last month.
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Emma Raducanu.

The 18-year-old stormed to victory at Flushing Meadows, winning the tournament without dropping a single set in any of her seven main-draw or three qualifying matches.

Her victory in New York saw her become the youngest female US Open winner since Serena Williams in 1999.

After defeating fellow teen Leylah Fernandez in the final, the British star said: "It's an absolute dream.

"You have visions of yourself going up to the box, hugging everyone, celebrating – that's something you always think of, and you always work for.

"For that moment to actually happen, I'm just so grateful."

Her journey to superstardom began when she was just 5 years old.

Born in Toronto, Canada, in 2002 to a Chinese mother and Romanian father, Raducanu moved to England when she was two years old.

She started playing tennis regularly at Bromley Tennis Centre in Kent, where her talent rapidly became apparent.

By the age of 9, she was a regular on the national circuit and had already won numerous titles, including the LTA Winter National and the Kent County Closed Junior Championships.

The Brit's big breakthrough came at Wimbledon 2021.
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Raducanu at Wimbledon 2021.

After winning UK national titles as an under-12 and under-16, Raducanu turned professional in 2018.

On the back of completing her A-Levels in mathematics and economics, she was handed her Grand Slam debut as a wildcard at Wimbledon 2021.

Ranked number 338 in the world at the time, she made it to the fourth round, where she retired mid-match after experiencing "breathing difficulties."

Raducanu's US Open victory months just months later was only her second appearance at a Grand Slam tournament.

Away from the court, Raducanu loves motorsports.

Between the ages of five and eight, Raducanu was an avid go-karter before she moved onto motocross at the age of nine.

Though she still likes to dabble in both from time to time, she now mostly enjoys racing as a spectator.

The teenager was on hand to watch Sir Lewis Hamilton win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July, where she also met Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

She is also a big soccer fan.

The club team she supports is a mystery, but Raducanu was cheering on England at Euro 2020 this summer.

As well as posting a picture of herself in an England shirt at Wembley when the team played Denmark in the semifinal, she was also featured on BBC Sport, giving her predictions for the final against Italy.

"It's coming home, isn't it," she said. Sadly, she was wrong.

Raducanu's heritage is hugely important to her.

Raducanu lists four locations on her official Instagram page: "London, Toronto, Bucharest, and Shenyang."

Being able to speak fluent Mandarin, she loves watching Taiwanese TV shows. She also regularly travels to Romania – the birthplace of her father – to visit her grandmother.

"I go back a couple of times a year, stay with her, see her. It's really nice. I love the food, to be honest," she said.

"I mean, the food is unbelievable. And my grandma's cooking is also something special. I do have ties to Bucharest."

She says her parents "tough love" has inspired her.

"My parents showed tough love, and at the time, I probably wasn't as grateful as I am in hindsight," Raducanu told the BBC upon returning to England.

"They just gave me a hug when I came back, nothing crazy, no big celebrations. My mum made some really good homemade dumplings! But there was nothing crazy or over the top.

"They're just staying discreet. Their reassurance and telling me they are proud of me is enough."

The $2.5 million Raducanu won for her victory in New York will also be managed by her parents, she says.

"I will just leave that to my parents," she said. "They can take that for me. I haven't gone shopping yet."

Straight after she had won the US Open, Raducanu told reporters: "My dad's definitely very tough to please, but I managed to today."

She's already gone plenty of famous admirers.
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Raducanu at the 2021 Met Gala.

Various famous faces, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford were quick to congratulate Raducanu on her US Open triumph.

"US Open champion, amazing. Congratulations!" Rashford tweeted to Raducanu.

The 18-year-old also received a letter of congratulations from Her Majesty The Queen.

"I send my congratulations to you on your success in winning the United States Open Tennis Championships," Her Majesty wrote in the letter. "It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication."

Keep shining the way she is, and Raducanu's fanbase will only get bigger.

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