BRITAIN was left buzzing, cheering and crying tears of joy as new tennis megastar Emma Raducanu landed her historic US Open win.
Nine million Brits were cheering on tennis megastar Emma Raducanu as she stormed the US Open title[/caption]
The 18-year-old Brit scooped £1.8million prize money as she defeated Leylah Fernandez[/caption]
Royalty, celebrities, sports stars, friends and family all rallied in support of the teenager from Bromley, South London.
The Queen led a flurry of tributes, sending an official note from her Balmoral holiday home. On officially headed notepaper, Her Majesty said: “It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication.
“I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent, Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players. I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters.”
Harry Bushnell, her former coach at Parklangley Club in Beckenham, South East London, fought back the tears after her victory.
Describing the moment Emma cut her leg open during the final game of the second set, resulting in an injury time-out, Harry said: “That reminded me of when she fell over on Claker Way when I was teaching her how to slide once and her dad just told her to get up and get on with it.
“The victory is a testament to her because she’s such a pleasant person, on and off the court, and I think that’s why so many people are getting behind her and certainly here at the club. Parklangley Club will always be behind her every step of the way.”
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‘Hard-hitting ace to clinch the title’
Emma had plied her trade at Parklangley from the age of six, working with Harry and Suzanne Williams, her former strength and conditioning trainer.
The club was rammed with friends and admirers last night as it hosted a TV viewing party for the final at Flushing Meadows. The place erupted as she delivered a hard-hitting ace to clinch the title, leaving some supporters sobbing with joy.
They were among nine million Brits watching on TV as Emma become the first Brit female singles Grand Slam winner since Virginia Wade 44 years ago — after Channel 4 did a deal with principal rights holder Amazon Prime.
In Emma’s home town of Bromley, locals put up “good luck” banners and balloons in front of the teenage sensation’s family house. And at nearby Bromley Tennis Centre youngsters yesterday packed the courts as they hoped to emulate her.
Meanwhile, Emma’s mother Renee collected her daughter’s Kent Player of the Year award at Sundridge Park tennis club. She had been unable to travel to the US due to Covid restrictions.
And Renee’s friend, broker Julian Guthrie, 52, told how he regretted not taking up the opportunity to play Emma when she was a ten-year-old child prodigy. The youngster offered the keen tennis fan a game on court eight years ago — but he rejected the offer as he feared she would find it too easy.
She’s fiercely intelligent and one of those people who is brilliant straight away at whatever they do.
Mum Renee's friend Julian Guthrie
He said: “I just took it as a bit of a joke. I wouldn’t play her now — she would wipe the floor with me.”
Describing the time he once gave Emma a lift back from a tennis event, Julian said: “What you see now on the TV is exactly as she’s always been.
“She’s fiercely intelligent and one of those people who is brilliant straight away at whatever they do.
“Her mother’s principal quality was her calmness and Emma has inherited that. Renee never liked negativity or anyone who rocked the boat. Emma says her parents would quickly snap her out of any hissy fits thrown on court as a child.
“I love the way Emma has turned out and it’s a reflection on her mother.”
Emma is known as a Formula 1 addict who never misses a grand prix. And yesterday she received another boost when her favourite F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo hailed her success — before going on to win the Italian GP.
Emma seen laughing with former coach Matt James and mum Renee[/caption]
Ricciardo said: “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I watched it. I went past my bedtime but Emma did great and it was really, really good to see.
“I know she was at Silverstone earlier this year. I missed her there but I look forward to welcoming her to a race this year.”
Emma is expected to become a global superstar with sponsorship and brand deals worth £150million. But before that, another accolade awaits — she is long odds on to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.