Emma Raducanu’s former coach says he is ‘immensely proud’
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Emma Raducanu has earned herself a whole host of new fans following her historic US Open triumph, from the Queen to world No 1 Novak Djokovic. The British teenager became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title, sending the country into tennis-frenzy. Raducanu has now received a private phone call from another of her new high-profile fans, Boris Johnson, and reached an agreement with the Prime Minister about the future of tennis in Britain.
Raducanu stunned the sporting world when she not only became the first-ever qualifier, man or woman, to win a Major, but also the first player in history to win the title on just their second appearance at Grand Slam level.
The 18-year-old failed to drop a set through three rounds of qualifying and seven main-draw matches, barely dropping a game against some top 50 players, en route to her first ever title, the US Open.
She had already put herself on the radar with a fairy-tale run at Wimbledon earlier this year, making the second week of her first Grand Slam as a wild card, before retiring in the fourth-round with breathing difficulties.
While her exploits at the All England Club made Raducanu one to watch in her home country, her US Open win has seen her skyrocket to a new level of superstardom.
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The Bromley teenager had the likes of her majesty the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge queuing up to send messages of personal congratulations as soon as she won her final match against Leylah Fernandez on Arthue Ashe Stadium.
The Prime Minister also took to Twitter to congratulate Raducanu following her victory, and it has now been revealed that he extended his praise in a private phone call with the new world No 23.
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A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed that the two had chatted, saying: “The Prime Minister spoke to Emma Raducanu this afternoon to congratulate her on her fantastic victory at the US Open.
“He praised her determination, skill and mental strength during a series of tough matches, and said the whole of the UK had united behind her success.”
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During the conversation, Raducanu also made an agreement with Boris Johnson following the raised interest in tennis sparked by her historic win.
The pair were both keen to encourage the next generation and capitalise on the frenzy the Bromley teenager had caused in her home country.
“Both the Prime Minister and Emma agreed on the importance of continuing to support grassroots tennis, and in encouraging young people to take up the game,” the spokesperson said.
Former world No 1 Andy Murray had also sounded keen to see the organising bodies make the most of the piqued interest in tennis following the 18-year-old’s title run.
Speaking at the Rennes Open, where he is currently playing an ATP Challenger event, the three-time Grand Slam champion said: “What she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and gives hopefully the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalise on that and get more and more kids involved in the sport.
“It’s great what she did and a huge opportunity for British tennis now.”
The LTA has also hoped to reap the rewards of Raducanu’s newfound superstardom to generate more Government funding to refurbish public park courts.
LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd told the BBC that 40 per cent of park courts are “in poor or unplayable condition”, and following the new US Open champion’s private conversation with the Prime Minister, there is now more hope money will be invested into grassroots tennis.
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