Since her historic US Open title win, Emma Raducanu has become one of the world’s most recognised tennis players.
Despite being just 19 years old, she is already a household name and brands have been falling over themselves to work with her.
Raducanu’s popularity and high marketability comes from the hard graft she put in during her flawless run in New York last year.
She had been on the WTA Tour for just three months before she stunned the world at the 2021 US Open.
Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title and she achieved this feat without dropping a single set.
As a result of her success, the teenage sensation has skyrocketed through the world rankings, rising from 366th prior to her WTA Tour debut, to her current position in 10th.
However, Raducanu’s passion to succeed on the court is not something that has always been instilled in her. In fact, her earliest memories of playing tennis were far from positive.
“When I was five or six, I was pretty much the only girl in most of the classes,” she told the Evening Standard. “I remember clinging on to the fence, hiding behind my mum’s skirt.
“I didn’t want anything to do with it because I was shy. I’d literally cry on the court during a match.”
As a child, Raducanu participated in a number of sports and hobbies, including motocross and ballet. She laughed about how she was “doing the two ends of the spectrum at eight.”
But tennis turned out to be her sport of choice, despite being totally uninterested when she first started out.
A rise into the spotlight
Fortunately for Raducanu and indeed, the tennis world, she stuck it out and can confidently say she experienced one of the sport’s most iconic moments.
She started to turn heads when she made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round and became the youngest British woman of the Open Era to reach the last 16.
However, she was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to breathing difficulties, cutting short an impressive run on her home soil.
Although she was hit with disappointment at Wimbledon, she more than made up for the early exit when she powered through the US Open to win her first ever major title.
Raducanu has struggled since Flushing Meadows but like she has stressed in the past, she is still just 19 years old and has her entire tennis career ahead of her.