Already performing for her first participation in a Major, Londoner Emma Raducanu was suddenly dizzy and plagued with breathing problems, facing Australian Ajla Tomljanovic. The woman who was then the 338th in the world explained after her discomfort “having probably mismanaged stress by playing in front of such a large crowd”. Commenting for ESPN, former champion John McEnroe had estimated, even before his explanations, that Raducanu had “a little too much” weight on the shoulders, “inviting him to learn” from this moment. He was far from imagining the rest.
It is clear that eight weeks later, Emma Raducanu, who became the first Briton to win a Major since Virginia Wade in 1977 at Wimbledon, quickly learned to control her emotions. Especially since the immense Arthur Ashe and its 23,000 spectators, much more electric, have washed away players before it for decades.
She felt “the intruder of the lot”
This was vividly seen in the final against the other “teenager” Leylah Fernandez, 19, who also caused a sensation during the fortnight. As in her previous nine matches, she won in straight sets (6-4, 6-3), becoming the youngest winner in Major since Russia’s Maria Sharapova who won Wimbledon at 17 in 2004.
No one knows how the young woman, who brought a breath of fresh air to tennis with the Canadian, will be able to manage this new media exposure. This can be difficult to bear, as evidenced by the case of Naomi Osaka, to whom she succeeds the prize list, who is plagued by recurring anxiety problems.
Raducanu, which appears in the latest British edition of Vogue magazine, is already “bankable” since it has signed partnerships with equipment manufacturers Nike and Wilson, but also the jeweler Tiffany & Co.
As a child, Emma was “shy” and felt a bit “the intruder of the lot”, she told the magazine. Born in Toronto to a Romanian father, Ian, and a Chinese mother, Renee, she was two years old when they moved to England to pursue their careers in finance. In Bromley, a city of greater London where David Bowie, who sang the merits of another “China Girl”, also grew up, Raducanu is the intrepid type, alternating ballet, horse riding and even karting. “I was the only girl in my group to do it and motocross too, I thought it was pretty cool. Once, my motocross teacher said to me “well, we are going to do push-ups”. I was the only one who could do them, I was proud of myself ”.
At five years old, she maintains discussions with the coaches …
Yet it is in tennis that she has a glorious future, when she is barely five years old.
“Emma held the exchanges with the coaches. We couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking we would see her someday at Wimbledon, ”then teacher Rebecca Rodger told The Times. History has proven him right.
Talent is not everything, Raducanu explained this week to Flushing Meadows that his mother “instilled in him from (his) young age work and discipline”. She also says she was also inspired by Li Na, the former Chinese player winner of Roland-Garros in 2011, “just by the way she was a fierce competitor”.
“My parents have high expectations for me. I always tried to be up to it, ”she said, not yet knowing that she would reach the top a few days later.
The former champion Martina Navratilova, she had already announced during the tournament: “He is a superstar in the making. We don’t want to put too much pressure on her, but she has this thing that we saw the first time with (Rafael) Nadal, (Novak) Djokovic and that we see for (the 18-year-old Spaniard) Carlos Alcaraz. It is there before our eyes. She was born for that ”.
letelegramme Fr Trans