How Hard Work and Dedication Led to Rapid Success
When Roger Federer won the first of his eight Wimbledon titles back in 2003, Emma Raducanu hadn’t yet had her first birthday. Born in Canada in 2002, to a Chinese mother and a Romanian father, Raducanu moved to England at the age of two, settling with her parents in Kent. From a young age she showed promise on the court, but no-one could have predicted the monumentally rapid rise the now 18-year-old has experienced.
Arguably one of the most inspiring and uplifting stories to emerge within the last 12 months, Raducanu has announced herself on the sporting world stage in emphatic fashion, at a time where the world’s need for euphoria and stimulation has been more prominent than ever.
Prior to her performance at Wimbledon this summer, you’d have been forgiven for not having heard the name, after all, she was ranked 338th in the world at the time. However, her advancement to the last 16 of the tournament, before having to withdraw mid-game for medical reasons, sparked an excitement not only within the sport, but within the public sphere as well.
Despite the aforementioned withdrawal, her performance at Wimbledon was undoubtedly a resounding and unexpected success. However, it was nothing compared with what was to come.
Notwithstanding her hasty ascent, it would be foolish to think that Raducanu’s recent success has not been hard-earned. In fact, despite her young age, it’s as a result of years of hard work and dedication. Rising through the junior ranks and testing herself in LTA national and international competitions, whilst representing Great Britain at junior level she broke into the junior top 50 world rankings for the first time in 2018, a mere three years before her first appearance in a Grand Slam.
She then qualified to play on the pro-circuit, aged just 15, and soon found success winning titles, her first coming in 2018 in Israel, at an ITF $15k event. It was this breakthrough that saw her enter the WTA official rankings, at 885th in the world.
Fast forward to this summer after continued success on the circuit, as well as a sabbatical to attain her A-Levels, Raducanu was offered a wildcard entry into her first ever Grand Slam, at Wimbledon. It was during this tournament that Raducanu’s story gained pace, as she won the hearts of the nation and shared the sporting headlines with the England men’s football team’s impressive display at Euro 2020.
Then came the US Open, which was surely initially viewed merely as an opportunity to further her experience and play a major on foreign soil. However, what followed was a spectacular, yet assured, run in the tournament, ending with victory in the final over fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez, whom she had faced in the second round of the junior championships at Wimbledon, just 38-months prior.
Ranked 150th in the world before the tournament, Raducanu became the first British woman to win one of the four majors since Virginia Wade in 1977. Additionally, she became the first player, male or female, in the history of the sport to come through qualifiers to reach and win a Grand Slam final.
Now firmly within the top 50 of the WTA world rankings, more success is sure to follow and hopefully the fulfilment of one of the most promising careers in British sport. Her catapult into stardom has seen her claim a US Open purse of £1.8million, rub shoulders with the stars at glamourous red-carpet events, achieve an online following of 2 million and reportedly begin plans for her own clothing and perfume lines.
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