Hailing from Canada and representing a Romanian and Chinese heritage, you could easily imagine that Emma Raducanu occasionally struggles for a sense of belonging. However, the tennis sensation has spent many of her 18 years settled in London and has clearly made that ‘home’ advantage count at Wimbledon, earning a wildcard into what was just her second professional tournament.
The right-hander defeated Vitalia Diatchenko and the former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova, before tournament officials, sensing an amazing story brewing, added her to the centre court schedule for her match against Sorana Cirstea.
A straight-set victory there set up a fourth-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic, again on centre court, but this time Raducanu would not be able to thrive under the spotlight. She retired in the second set, revealing later that she was struggling to breathe and that the expectation on her shoulders had proven too much.
Nevertheless, all things considered, Raducanu’s first foray into the Wimbledon tournament was an overall outstanding effort for a player that entered the tournament at 500/1 in the Wimbledon women’s singles tennis betting odds. Inevitably, the support she gained at SW19 will carry over into her next outings in the Grand Slam event, where she’s currently at odds of 100/1 to win the women’s singles at the 2021 US Open. Undoubtedly, she will return to Wimbledon, such is her obvious talent, something she has been proving in abundance since her incredible summer on the grass.
Going Down a Storm in the Windy City
After winning a handy £181,000 in prize money for her exploits at Wimbledon, the only thing that Raducanu had in mind for the cash was to take her support team out for a nice meal. Maybe there was an argument about how they were going to split the bill, as shortly after her SW19 success the London resident announced her split from coach Nigel Sears.
Fear not: Raducanu has since replaced him with Andrew Richardson, who was her coach for much of her early tennis career, and it will be interesting to see how that link-up helps to shape Raducanu’s game as she becomes a more regular feature on the WTA Tour.
The early signs are promising. She dusted off the cobwebs after taking some time to reflect post-Wimbledon at an ITF event in Pennsylvania, coming through the tough qualifying process and reaching the third round.
From there it was off to the WTA Challenger tournament in Chicago, and so far everything has been a breeze for the newcomer in the Windy City. Eventually, Raducanu will face the excitement of playing in her second Grand Slam event: the US Open at the famed Flushing Meadows venue in New York.
It will be important that Raducanu is able to keep her feet on the ground as her star status continues to develop, but if nothing else, the 18-year-old has already proven she has the game to take the tennis scene by storm.