Williams, Sharapova, Osaka: Emma Raducanu could become richer than tennis megastars

Emma Raducanu, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka

Emma Raducanu made history on Saturday night, after becoming the only qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam title and the first female British tennis player to win a major since 1977.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable rise to the pinnacle of women’s tennis –– starting the year as an A-level student and ranked almost 400th in the world, and ending it by winning the US Open and becoming the new British number one.

Across 10 matches at Flushing Meadows, the teenager didn’t drop a set and has inspired a nation, who have dubbed this one of Britain’s biggest success stories.

Now, with worldwide acclaim, an endearing personality and a whole career ahead of her, many have acknowledged Raducanu’s marketability and suggested she could become Britain’s richest sportswoman.

The US Open winner pocketed $2.5 million (£1.8m) for this victory alone, and when you consider the endorsement deals which are likely to arise from this triumph, her potential earnings are virtually unlimited.

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Simon Chadwick, a professor at the Emylon Business School, told BBC 5 live: “There’s so much potential on where Emma could go commercially. Emma’s age, she’s generation Z, her dual heritage, her growing profile and the global platform she’s on means big things are ahead for her.”

Tennis stars are already the highest-paid female athletes in the world. Both Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams were ranked in Forbes’ list of the top 50 highest-paid sportspeople of the year but were the only women to make the cut.

This is largely due to the exposure of women’s tennis. All Grand Slams are held at the same place, at the same time and shown on the channel as the equivalent men’s events. Prize money is also the same and the majority of female tennis stars are just as well known as their male counterparts.

Raducanu

Raducanu will also benefit from being represented by Max Eisenbud –– the vice-president of tennis at IMG and the former agent of Maria Sharapova.

The Russian retired from the sport in 2020, having completed the career Grand Slam and made a reported £234 million throughout her career.

A former world number one, Sharapova won Wimbledon when she was just 17, catapulting her into the limelight as a global tennis icon.

Raducanu’s win in New York mirrors this performance in many ways, and there is every chance she could follow a similar trajectory.

Emma Raducanu

While her US Open victory marks the beginning of what is set to be a long and profitable career, for now, there is only one thing on her wishlist. A pair of Airpods.

The Brit admitted she lost her previous pair just before the start of qualifying, which spurred her on to win her first game so she could buy some new ones. The earphones retail at £125 –– a price too expensive for most teenagers to splash out on. But after her record-breaking win in New York, the Briton can most certainly afford herself this luxury.

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