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Emma Raducanu has admitted that the few times she has been “starstruck” have come from her encounters with the Royal Family. The world No 10 became an overnight sensation when she won the US Open as a qualifier last year, getting the chance to hit with Kate Middleton and receiving a letter from the Queen.
Raducanu made a name for herself when she reached the second week of Wimbledon as a wildcard ranked down at world No 338 last year, and went on to become the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title when she lifted the US Open trophy almost a year ago while sitting at No 150 in the world. Following her historic victory, it was revealed that the Queen had watched the match as she sent the 19-year-old a letter.
Upon flying home after her victory, the Bromley local appeared in an LTA homecoming special alongside Joe Salisbury and Alfie Hewitt for their US Open title wins and had a hit with the Duchess of Cambridge in the morning. The teenage Grand Slam champion has now revealed that Kate Middleton is one person who left her starstruck after their meeting.
“I’ve met some really cool people, but when I met the duchess I was definitely [starstruck],” the US Open champion told the Evening Standard. “I could stare at her all day. Just watch her talk, watch her do everything.”
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Raducanu admitted she also felt the same about the Queen after receiving a letter congratulating her on her US Open triumph, though revealed that she has “hidden it” instead of putting it on display. She added: “And also the Queen. I got a letter from her. That was a pretty starstruck moment.”
The Duchess of Cambridge is a big tennis fan and the Patron of the All England Club, so it comes as no surprise that she was one of the many cheering Raducanu on from home while the 19-year-old fought for the title in Flushing Meadows. Ahead of her final match against Leylah Fernandez, Kate tweeted: “What an incredible achievement at this year’s #USOpen @EmmaRaducanu! We will all be rooting for you tomorrow. Wishing you the best of luck! C”.
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Raducanu has since been complimentary of the Duchess, gushing about her during an interview with People last year. She said: “I think the Duchess is such a great inspiration, just with how she handles everything and how she does so much good work for charities.
“She’s a real inspiration to the whole country.” And touching on her experience of playing a quick doubles game alongside Kate, who played “very well”, Raducanu added: “It was a pretty surreal experience to be playing tennis with the Duchess.”
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