She will take to Wimbledon’s Court One today as Britain’s newest sporting heroine. But the fuss over her history-making run at the championships seems unlikely to faze Emma Raducanu
She will take to Wimbledon’s Court One today as Britain’s newest sporting heroine.
But the fuss over her history-making run at the championships seems unlikely to faze Emma Raducanu.
The 18-year-old has been praised for her attitude, composure – and a superstar potential that seems certain to earn her a fortune.
On Saturday, Emma became the youngest British woman to reach the fourth round of the singles at Wimbledon since 1959, a fairytale run that has captured the hearts of the nation.
It is a miraculous achievement for a player whose world ranking of 338 was the lowest in the women’s draw.
She sat her A-levels in April and played her first WTA Tour match last month having put her tennis career on hold during the pandemic to concentrate on her studies. She is competing at SW19 only after being handed a wild-card entry.
Now the teenager, from Bromley, south-east London, is guaranteed £300,000 if she wins her last-16 match against Ajla Tomljanovic.
Even if she loses, Emma – who has been praised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sir Andy Murray – is tipped to earn millions in sponsorship deals.
One expert said: ‘She’s very clean-cut, attractive, multicultural, successful and young.’
Emma has been described as a ‘model pupil’ by her teachers at Newstead Wood, a selective girls’ grammar school in Orpington, south-east London.
Champ in the making: Emma competing in a junior competition in France, left, and on her way to victory at Wimbledon on Saturday. Even if she loses, Emma – who has been praised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sir Andy Murray – is tipped to earn millions in sponsorship deals. One expert said: ‘She’s very clean-cut, attractive, multicultural, successful and young’
She achieved three 9s, and four 8s in her GCSEs and is awaiting the results of her maths and economics A-levels. Headteacher Alan Blount said: ‘From year 7 she was hardworking, diligent, and actually you wouldn’t have known that she was a blossoming tennis superstar alongside it.
‘Her parents have been behind her the whole way with tennis and with school and they’ve made sure that the focus on schooling didn’t drop.’
He added that her mother, Renee, who is Chinese and her father, Ian, who is Romanian, are always ‘supportive and completely in the zone’ at parents’ evenings.
‘They know the importance of education,’ he said. ‘They’re looking to make sure that Emma is achieving in all areas of her life, that’s the school and the sport, and that she’s also reading books and taking part in extracurricular [activities] at school. She is an absolute all-rounder.
My little pony: On holiday aged seven. Emma has been described as a ‘model pupil’ by her teachers at Newstead Wood, a selective girls’ grammar school in Orpington, south-east London
‘She’s calm and level-headed in school and humble in that she’s out performing in these tournaments and then she’ll come back to school and be sat alongside her peers again and carry on and you just wouldn’t know that maybe last week she was in France.’
Emma’s maths teacher Sarah Sword, 48, who emailed her after her victory against world number 45 Sorana Cirstea on Saturday, said: ‘She’s a really talented mathematician, she’s a really talented student. She’s very active in class in terms of participating in the lessons, asking questions, answering questions – and she has a very sharp mind. She is going to do brilliantly in her exams. There’s no doubt in my mind.
‘She has managed this amazing balance between her studies and pursuing her passion for tennis. She’s simply lovely.’
Her opponent today has been described in far less flattering terms. Australian Miss Tomljanovic, 28, was accused of being ‘the worst player on tour’ after an ugly on-court row during her third-round match against Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday.
The world number 75, who used to date tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios and is now in a relationship with Italian player Matteo Berrettini, accused her Latvian opponent of lying about being injured when she called for a medical timeout.