Emma Raducanu‘s life will change in ways she ‘can’t possibly imagine’ following her epic run of form at the US Open, according to Andrew Castle.
The broadcaster and former British tennis player said the 18-year-old is an ‘absolute dream commercially’ while appearing on Good Morning Britain today.
He agreed with host Martin Lewis that she is the ‘natural successor’ to Andy Murray as the new star of British tennis – while her former coach said he wasn’t surprised by her incredible performance.
Emma, from Bromley, Kent will take on the big serving Greek player Maria Sakkari in the semi-final of the US Open today and is yet to drop a set in the entire tournament after storming past Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.
Emma Raducanu’s life will change in ways she ‘can’t possibly imagine’ following her epic run of form at the US Open, according to Andrew Castle
She became the first qualifier in history to make the last four at this event after beating the Swiss 6-3, 6-4 in 82 minutes. As a result she’s set to rise to the cusp of the world’s top 50 and will become the British Women’s Number One – months after sitting her A-Levels and receiving A* in Maths and an A in Economics.
Asked if he ‘saw this coming’, Emma’s former coach Mathew James told Susanna Reid: ‘In terms of the tennis a lot of us probably did, I don’t think we quite thought it was going to happen so soon especially after the exams.
‘But we’ve seen this tennis the last few years, she’s played a few of the top girls in practice and gone toe-to-toe so we actually don’t get surprised as much now with Emma.’
Appearing from his home in Surrey, Andrew agreed with Martin’s description of Emma as ‘telegenic and talented, she’s 18’ and ‘the natural successor to Andy Murray, as the new star of British and possibly world tennis’.
Broadcaster and former British tennis player Andrew Castle said 18-year-old Emma is an ‘absolute dream commercially’ while appearing on Good Morning Britain today
Asked how far can she go, he replied: Commercially she’s an absolute dream. Not only is she everything you just mentioned, but she’s also a winner, and she looks like she’s having a whole lot of fun doing it.
‘I don’t want to temper any of the joy that we’ve got, this has been remarkable – there were 256 people in the draw when she started qualifying, she’s won eight matches, made it to the semi-final and not even dropped a set, so there’s no reason to hold back and I think she can handle everything that’s ahead.
‘But at the moment everything is new, there are no hotels she’s going back to for the seventh or eighth time, she hasn’t got to get on an aeroplane and leave her friends when she doesn’t want to, the whole thing is out there in front of her, but above all else, she looks like she belongs and she looks like she wants more of it.
‘So whilst we are all enjoying her run and seeing her life change, I think that she and her family are the sort of people who can cope with what’s ahead.’
He added that ‘great credit’ must go to Emma’s father Ian and mother Renee, because without their backing financially and emotionally, ‘none of this could happen’.
‘Her life is going to change in ways that she can probably not even imagine at this point,’ Andrew went on.
‘Her relationship with friends, her place in the world has altered. With luck and all of our indulgence, if she falls or doesn’t get results like this every single week, she’s on her way and it’s been quite inspiring, and what a smile, does she know how to handle the camera and the attention, it’s amazing.’
Asked about her ‘wobble’ at Wimbledon, where she retired in the fourth round with breathing difficulties and dizziness, he said: ‘I’m not sure if that was so much a wobble but just a natural physical reaction to the emotional turmoil of four matches at Wimbledon and all that attention.
6’I agree with you, resilience and learning lessons but it’s all a natural progression.’
Coach Mathew added that Emma is ‘one of those people who’s good at everything’, but works incredibly hard.
Asked if he ‘saw this coming’, Emma’s former coach Mathew James told Susanna Reid: ‘In terms of the tennis a lot of us probably did’
‘She didn’t play that much during lockdown so you could see it as quite nice for her to have a little break from tennis and come back reinvigorated and ready to really work hard and practice,’ Mathew said.
‘I think after the exams were finished in the summer she’s just relaxed and this is the start of her tennis career and she’s giving it her all and can focus on everything that comes with it.’
Emma has been supported by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) for a number of years, and Mathew said it’s a great story for the organisation.
‘She’s come through pretty much the whole British pathway now, from doing British regional camps as a youngster and being picked for trips and representing Great Britain, and more recently the pro-scholarship programme designed for young aspiring players to try to break through into the top 100,’ he explained.
‘She’s currently in her third year of that which has been great for her because it’s offered financial support and access to the National Tennis Centre which is the great practitioners of the world and a world class facility. So that’s a nice story for the LTA to see her break through so quickly.
‘We’ve got 10 people on that programme, all great players, so it’s nice when one breaks the top 100.’
Speaking after her victory over Bencic, Emma said: ‘Playing Belinda, she is such a great opponent and her ball speed definitely caught me off guard, I had to adjust and adapt… I’m so glad to have come through.
‘I was 0-30 in my last couple of service games. I was just trying to focus on what I could control, I knew she would fight until the end.’
She added that she didn’t expect to make it to the last four, revealing: ‘My flights were booked at the end of qualifying, so it’s a nice problem to have… It definitely means a lot to be in the semi-finals.
‘I’m just really enjoying the experience. Out there on the court, I was saying to myself, this could be the last time you play on Ashe, so might as well just go for it and enjoy everything.’
Sadly Emma’s parents haven’t been able to cheer their daughter on in person, nor will they be able to see her take on Sakkari due to the strict travel restrictions to the US.
Emma’s mother Renee seen cheering and applauding her daughter in the crowd during her match on day 6 of Wimbledon in July. Sadly Emma’s parents haven’t been able to cheer their daughter on in person, nor will they be able to see her take on Sakkari due to the strict travel restrictions to the US
‘It’s not possible, because you need a waiver and it takes a couple weeks for approval. It’s too late and they won’t be able to get one,’ Emma said.
Smiling her signature grin, she added: ‘I haven’t actually called my parents for quite a while. Earlier this week they were ghosting me, but when we speak – because I have been away for so long now – they just really want to see how I am.’
This week Emma – set to appear in next month’s issue of Vogue dressed in a strapless black gown and a pair of leopard print trainers – admitted she was ‘very shy’ and the ‘odd-one-out’ growing up.
Emma said she was often the ‘only girl’ in her friendship group doing certain sports, adding: ‘I was a very shy little girl who didn’t talk much at all.
‘And through playing sport, and having to be bold on the court and fearless and fight, it’s given me inner strength. If you have that, then you can really achieve whatever you want.’
She credited her mother for helping her build her confidence, which she said comes from ‘inner belief’.
Emma revealed how she was ‘very shy’ and the ‘odd-one-out’ growing up as she appears in next month’s issue of Vogue
Emma explained: ‘My mum comes from a Chinese background, they have very good self-belief.
‘It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture.’
She told Vogue that being the ‘odd one out’ was something she, at first, had to grow used to, but then took pleasure from.
‘When I was younger, I was the only girl in my group karting or doing motocross, and I thought it was pretty cool,’ Emma recalled.
‘For example, one time, my motocross teacher was like, right, we’re going to do press-ups. I was the only one who could do it, so I was proud of myself for that.’
Meanwhile she revealed how she respected Naomi Osaka’s decision to opt out of press conferences and the French Open.
Raducanu pictured as a toddler; she moved with parents Ian and Renee to England in 2004
The tennis sensation – who has wowed the British public with her post-match interviews – said she ‘didn’t talk much at all’ as a child (pictured)
She said: ‘If that’s the best thing for her health, mental health and wellbeing then I think that that’s the right thing to do, because at the end of the day, you’re on this journey alone, no matter how many people are in your corner.’
The teenager also spoke about retiring from Wimbledon during her match against Ajla Tomljanovic.
She said fellow athlete Marcus Rashford reached out to her on Twitter afterwards, saying: ‘[It was] very comforting in that moment.
‘I was feeling like I let people down, so for him to reassure me like that – I was extremely grateful.’
The teenage tennis sensation on course to make £1 million in 2021: How ‘PR dream’ Emma Raducanu, 18, has secured her place as ‘the biggest star of GB sport for the next 10 years’
The future is unmistakably bright for Emma Raducanu, who was this week dubbed ‘the biggest star of GB sport for the next decade’ by sports broadcaster Jonathan Overend.
Emma’s stellar performances in New York and at Wimbledon, where she became the youngest British woman to reach the fourth round of the singles competition since 1959 after being handed a wildcard entry, have earned her close to £500,000.
According to a branding expert, there is ‘little doubt’ the 18-year-old will be a millionaire by the end of this year, with brands likely to be clambering over themselves to sign her up following her second Grand Slam appearance.
Emma is, as sports presenter Hugh Ferris put it on Radio 5 Live this week, ‘fast becoming a big deal’. ‘Every so often, you do get an athlete that strikes a chord with the British public at large,’ he said. ‘She is extraordinary.’
Born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, Miss Raducanu moved to Britain at the age of two and grew up in London
‘Emma Raducanu is a brand and PR dream,’ branding expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL. ‘She has all the elements that will take her away from tennis and into the stratosphere of superstardom like Venus Williams and Maria Sharipova before her.
‘She has a rare combination of talent, skill, beauty, compassion, innocence and intelligence that make her the perfect person for brands to use for endorsements.
‘She is the complete anthesis of a Love Islander and comes as a breath of fresh air, not only for tennis fans but also for brands looking to associate themselves with talent who actually have that… talent!’
Asked about Emma’s ‘wobble’ at Wimbledon, where she retired in the fourth round with breathing difficulties and dizziness, Andrew said: ‘I’m not sure if that was so much a wobble but just a natural physical reaction to the emotional turmoil of four matches at Wimbledon and all that attention’
Emma won an army of fans at Wimbledon, admitting in her charmingly humble post-match interview on court that she never expected to make the second week. After her first round victory she gained 30,000 followers on Instagram, and her second win left her with 153,000. Her following now stands at 521,000.
Born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, Emma moved to Britain at the age of two and grew up in London.
She first picked up a racquet aged five and played at Bromley Tennis Academy from the age of 10.
During lockdown, she could be seen knocking tennis balls back and forth to her dad in the quiet cul-de-sac where the family live.
On her Instagram page, the rising star references her global roots listing London, where she lives now, Toronto, where she was born and the two cities where her parents are from Bucharest in Romania and Shenyang in China.
Her dual heritage remains important to her and she’s spoken fondly of relatives across the globe, saying: ‘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.
Born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, Emma moved to Britain at the age of two and grew up in London
‘I mean, the food is unbelievable. And my grandma’s cooking is also something special. I do have ties to Bucharest.’
This week she joked her parents ‘ghosted’ her after she beat Rogers, revealing: ‘I texted them and they didn’t reply even though they were online.’
Emma attended Newstead School in Orpington, Kent where she was described as a ‘model pupil’ by her teachers at the selective girls’ grammar school. She achieved three 9s and four 8s in her GCSEs.
Headteacher Alan Blount said: ‘From year 7 she was hardworking, diligent, and actually you wouldn’t have known that she was a blossoming tennis superstar alongside it.
‘Her parents have been behind her the whole way with tennis and with school and they’ve made sure that the focus on schooling didn’t drop.’
Emma attended selective girls’ grammar school Newstead School in Orpington, Kent where she was described as a ‘model pupil’ by her teachers. She achieved three 9s and four 8s in her GCSEs
He added that her mother, Renee, and father, Ian, are always ‘supportive and completely in the zone’ at parents’ evenings.
‘They know the importance of education,’ he said. ‘They’re looking to make sure that Emma is achieving in all areas of her life, that’s the school and the sport, and that she’s also reading books and taking part in extracurricular [activities] at school. She is an absolute all-rounder.
‘She’s calm and level-headed in school and humble in that she’s out performing in these tournaments and then she’ll come back to school and be sat alongside her peers again and carry on and you just wouldn’t know that maybe last week she was in France.’
Emma’s maths teacher Sarah Sword, 48, who emailed her after her victory against Sorana Cirstea at Wimbledon, said: ‘She’s a really talented mathematician, she’s a really talented student. She’s very active in class in terms of participating in the lessons, asking questions, answering questions – and she has a very sharp mind. She is going to do brilliantly in her exams. There’s no doubt in my mind.
Champ in the making: Emma competing in a junior competition in France, left, and on her way to victory at Wimbledon on day 6. One expert previously said of Emma: ‘She’s very clean-cut, attractive, multicultural, successful and young’
‘She has managed this amazing balance between her studies and pursuing her passion for tennis. She’s simply lovely.’
The rising star is coached by Murray’s father-in-law Nigel Sears, who said she was ‘born to play tennis’, adding: ‘I knew she was exceptional the first time I saw her.’
‘It has not taken long for Emma Raducanu to show that Wimbledon was no one-off, and that she is the real thing,’ Boris Becker said at the weekend.
‘She is someone with charisma who carries herself so impressively, and most importantly she looks like she is enjoying herself.’
Former Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli told Pickswise that Emma is ‘very refreshing for the sport’.
‘It’s great for the UK especially to have some young and talented players coming through because it hasn’t been the case for quite a while,’ she added. ‘Emma has the potential to break into the top 20 and even further. This is very exciting for British tennis.’
Emma, pictured with her team in a snap shared from New York this week, captioned: ‘Team!! We’re in the last eight of @USOpen’
All eyes will be on Emma – who has been praised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sir Andy Murray – when she takes on Sakkari, and Nick foresees her being ‘flooded with offers’ of sponsorship deals.
‘This is where she will be able to monetise carefully her rising stardom,’ Nick went on. ‘I am sure she and her team will be looking for the most lucrative offers and ones that allow for longevity and loyalty.
‘The best kind of endorsements are ones that are relatable and work well with the talent and appeal to their fan base. There is little doubt that Emma will be a millionaire by the end of this year – and that’s just with her tennis earnings.
‘Endorsements will push her earning potential to reach new heights and she will be looking at everything from sports brand endorsements to beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands, too.
‘She is so appealing and also so inspiring that she is the perfect person to promote power brands that want to tap into her fanbase and demographic.’
Emma will no doubt be doing her homework on Swiss player Bencic – who is six years her senior – ahead of their clash tomorrow. She firmly believes that the ability to properly study forthcoming challenges is as much a part of her armoury as having a shot like her serve or backhand (pictured in July in San Francisco)
Off court, the teenager speaks Mandarin and is a fan of Taiwanese television shows. Her dual heritage remains important to her and she’s spoken fondly of relatives across the globe
Emma will no doubt be doing her homework on Sakkari ahead of their clash tomorrow. She firmly believes that the ability to properly study forthcoming challenges is as much a part of her armoury as having a shot like her serve or backhand.
‘I think everyone has their strengths in their game and one of mine is being mentally quite sharp,’ she said in the wake of beating China’s Zhang Shuai in round two.
‘My preparation is key in my game and one of my biggest weapons. It’s definitely helped me in my game and I’ll be working out a plan with my team.
‘At this level, no-one really has a weakness. You can’t go for one side expecting a mistake. But there’s always some loopholes you can find and some discomforts, so that is something I try to expose. That’s what the homework hopefully highlights.’
She added: ‘I don’t think it’s easier to play here than Wimbledon. Playing in front of a home crowd at Wimbledon, for me, is the pinnacle. But I absolutely love it here. The States and the crowds here have made me feel at home and so welcome.’
We suspect her homecoming – with or without the trophy – will be just as welcoming.
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