Emma Raducanu felt "isolated" at school as she sacrificed friendship for tennis

Emma Raducanu

US Open champion Emma Raducanu revealed she felt “isolated” at school as she discussed the sacrifices she made to become a professional tennis player.

The 19-year-old became the fifth British woman to break into the world top 10 earlier this month, joining Virginia Wade, Sue Barker, Jo Durie and Johanna Konta.

It follows Raducanu’s improbable success at last year’s US Open, where she became the first qualifier, male or female, to win a Grand Slam.

It has been a challenging journey to the top, however, and Raducanu told students from Wolverley Secondary School about the greatest sacrifice she was forced to make.

“You know how secondary school is,” she said during the video chat. “All the kind of friendship groups are formed in year seven, eight, nine, and they’re constantly changing in the early few years.

“So if you’re not there and you’re not going to some things or hanging out at lunch, or break, then, you know, you kind of get isolated and forgotten about.

“I sort of made peace with that later on, I just went to school to study. But I’d say that not having as many friends from school is probably one of the biggest sacrifices I had to make.”

British tennis player Emma Raducanu

Raducanu then revealed that she used tennis to grow her confidence.

“I used to be really shy as a young girl and playing tennis and beating the boys and coming back when I was losing, that just brought me a lot of confidence.

“Yeah, I can say that I’m definitely more comfortable and outgoing now than I was when I was younger, and I think tennis has brought me that.”

British tennis player Emma Raducanu

The British star is currently preparing for her US Open title defence, with the Grand Slam scheduled for August 29th to September 11th.

She will compete in the Citi Open next week, before playing in the Toronto Open and Cincinnati Open later in August.

Raducanu has struggled to find her form since her extraordinary victory at Flushing Meadows, battling with injury and fitness issues.

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