Emma Raducanu has admitted she wishes her parents could have been in New York to see her become Britain’s first female singles Grand Slam champion for 44 years.
The teenage superstar’s name is on everyone’s lips right now after she made tennis history by beating rival Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 in the US Open final on Saturday.
But as she lifted her trophy in a fairytale-come-true, her proud parents were forced to watch her triumph 3,500 miles away.
Strict Covid-19 travel restrictions kept them in England and the 18-year-old said she ‘would have loved’ to be able to celebrate with them.
Ian and Renee Raducanu were among nine million viewers to tune into Channel 4 to watch the tennis star soar to victory.
She said: ‘I speak to my parents, we do not really talk so much about tennis but they just really want to know how I am in these moments and, you know, to not have them here with me, I would have loved them to be here and we can all celebrate together or they could be with me and experience the same things but you know, they are watching from home very proud.
‘My dad said to me ‘you are even better than your dad thought’ so that was reassuring.
‘My dad is definitely very tough to please but I managed to today.’
Ms Raducanu was born in Ontario, Canada, on November 13, 2002 to Ian and Renee Raducanu – finance industry professionals from Romania and China, who relocated to London in 2004.
The family lives in a cul-de-sac in Bromley, where the athlete and her father would hit tennis balls together in the street during the lockdowns.
Ms Raducanu has also credited her Chinese and Romanian roots for helping her remain grounded and says her mum’s family are to thank for her drive and discipline.
However, her parents were not able to travel to the US to attend the tournament because of Covid-19 rules.
Ms Raducanu trained at Bromley Tennis Centre from the ages of 10 to 16 and the facility’s manager, James Carlton, told Sky News: ‘She is incredibly single-minded and determined. She works very hard.
‘The centre is next to her school so she would be here before, after, and sometimes during.
‘We would often see her working on her schoolwork in between sessions.
‘She was here every day and when she was on court you could see she was putting everything into it.
‘Doing that while maintaining her schooling and academia is even more impressive.’
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