The British tennis player defeated Canada’s Leylah Fernandez on Saturday in a straight-set victory, becoming the youngest Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004.
She added that she was inspired by retired Chinese tennis player Li Na, former world number 2, and “just the way she was such a fierce competitor.”
And following her victory on Sunday, she addressed her fans in Mandarin. “Hello everyone, I would like to say thank you,” she said. “I hope you enjoyed watching my tennis. I’m very, very happy right now … Thank you, I love you!”
She immediately won over new fans in China, who praised her performance on the court as well as her pride in her heritage. Many also praised her post in Mandarin, reveling in her “cute” northeastern accent – her mother is from Shenyang City, northeastern Liaoning Province.
“Her grandmother in Shenyang must be proud of her, and we, the people of Shenyang, are also proud of her,” a netizen said on the Chinese platform Weibo.
His victory tends over Weibo; one hashtag, “18-year-old Chinese player wins US open championship,” has been viewed over 200 million times, while the video of her post in Mandarin has been viewed over a million times.
In 2014, China had invested hundreds of millions of dollars to launch the Wuhan Open, a tennis tournament held in Li’s hometown. Li’s victory was “the new frontier of tennis in China, a new era,” said Fabrice Chouquet, co-director of the Wuhan Open tournament, in 2016.
Now, Raducanu’s spectacular victory could inspire a new generation of Chinese tennis players.
“I’ll show this video to my daughter, hoping Emma can be her idol,” commented one user in the post-game interview with Raducanu, which has garnered millions of views on Weibo.
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