Sport is something that brings so much joy and inspiration to many lives. And, when the sporting spirit of a remarkable young talent wins the hearts of millions, it’s a blessing. 18 year old Emma Raducanu was unheard of before August 2021, but now she is the new sensation of the Sporting World. With her spectacular US Open win, the world witnessed something never seen before in the history of tennis with British teenager Emma Raducanu.
It was for the first time in the Grand Slam Open Era that Emma Raducanu played from the qualifier round and then reached the finals to become champion by defeating another young talent, 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez.
Winning a US Open Grand Slam at the age of 18 is something huge, that too representing a country like Great Britain who have been waiting for this moment for more than four decades now. The endurance, persistence & willpower reflected by Emma was what made her an exception from the rest in the US Open tournament. From playing qualifiers to winning the championship Emma has shown that transformation of change is possible. What Emma achieved at this young age is remarkable not only in terms of sports but as an individual too.
Emma Raducadu winning the US Open Grand Slam title (Image: via @emmaraducadu twitter)
It wasn’t an easy ride for Emma
The tag of Sports Star comes with huge responsibility, pressure and criticism. When you are high on your performance you will be cherished. But once you start dealing with your fitness and mental health at the very same time, you have to deal with criticism too. Emma was no different. When she decided to step back from Wimbledon, she was being told that she couldn't handle pressure. The eyes of the whole world were upon her. But this champion knew how to handle the situation. She knew when she needed a break, and she knew when to return. Emma ignored all the negative voices along the way and focused on turning her dream of becoming a Grand Slam Champion into reality. As a result, Emma Raducanu is a superstar in the making and one of the most admired icons in sports right now.
Emma Raducadu at Wimbledon 2021 (Image: via @emmaraducadu twitter)
Emma - The new face of women's Tennis!
Sports is something which always needs an ambassador to inspire the young generation. We have seen plenty of women players who have created history on the tennis court. The legacy that Serena Williams has created for women's tennis is remarkable and to follow in her footsteps and become the new face of women’s tennis for the next generation is quite remarkable at such an age.
The world has Ashleigh Barty, the current world number 1 player, but lacked consistency in her performances this season. Then we have star Japanese player Naomi Osaka who shot to fame at an early age to, after beating her childhood idol Serena Williams in 2018. From being among the top 50 highest-paid athletes on Forbes list to suffering mental health troubles, it wasn’t a great year for Osaka on and off the court, however she raised awareness about a very serious issue that can affect even those at the highest level of their field. Alongside these two great players, Emma Raducanu can be seen as the new face of Tennis.
Emma Raducadu at the US Open 2021 (Image: via @emmaraducadu twitter)
Emma Raducanu and the Indian connection
Do you know about Emma Raducanu's Indian connection? Very few would know that the US Open Grand Slam champion had been to India a few years back. Yes, you heard it right, in December 2019, Emma was in India to play a couple of ITF tournaments in Solapur and Pune. She was ranked in the mid-500s then, so she needed to get through qualifying just to play in Pune, a $25,000 hard-court event. Raducanu won two qualifying games, 5 main draw matches, and the trophy. Then she earned 51 ranking points.
Emma Raducadu winning her first $25K title in India (Image: via @emmaraducadu twitter)
Even before 2019, in January 2018, Raducanu had won the ITF grade-3 junior tournament in Chandigarh and followed that with the grade-2 title in Delhi. And within a few years, Emma has paved her way into the international tennis ecosystem. This performance by Emma will inspire many girls (and boys) across India who aspire to become a successful athlete on the global stage.
Her fellow Tennis player, Indian Akanksha Nitture had these words to say about Emma, whom she played a fabulous tennis match in 2019, when she was her Opponent in the ITF tournament, “back in 2019, I didn’t imagine she will play at this level so fast, that she will play a Grand Slam final and she will win it.” said Nitture. Emma's performance will make a strong impact on budding Indian players for sure.
Tennis has witnessed several fascinating teen triumph stories over the years. We have a lot more in the name of the US Open itself—Tracy Austin, Steffi Graf, Pete Sampras, Monica Seles, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova among them. They were all teenagers when they were marked for great success.
Emma made her way out from an empty seat qualification ground to a full crowd Grand Slam final. From traveling on a crowded bus to business class on a Chartered flight, Raducanu's journey so far has been incredible and inspiring for the young generation. 3 months ago she was just a student and now she is not only a Glam Slam winner but also the most influential sports person in the world right now. She proves that you just have to move forward in your journey. All we can say right now is that the world needs more people like Raducanu who know how to achieve success with their grit and determination. Keep fighting for what you want is a never-ending process to flourish in life.