Emma Raducanu’s success comes down to mental strength and resilience

Emma Raducanu’s former coach says he is ‘immensely proud’

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Britons couldn’t tear their eyes away from the screen as they watched Emma Raducanu’s incredible performance against Leylah Fernandez at the US Open final on Saturday. We don’t blame them: it was a historic moment.

The British teenager, aged 18, beat Fernandez, becoming the first qualifier and first British woman in 44 years to claim a Grand Slam singles title.

Her monumental victory does not only require sporting talent but also a large measure of mental determination and calculated skill.

Speaking to the BBC, Raducanu’s coach Andrew Richardson, who has worked with her since she was 10, said: “For me, the biggest strength she has is the mind.

“I think everything starts with the mind and the strength she has shown throughout the trip; and the resilience she showed.

“Her ability to deal with adversity and compete is where it all starts. I’ve known her from a young age, and she’s always had that.

“I’m not sure it can be coached. I think a lot of it is parenting, and her parents should take a lot of credit for the person Emma is. The mental strength she has is truly special.”

Her A-level results add to the perception that Raducanu is a highly intelligent young woman. She excelled in maths and economics while staying on top of her sporting game and preparing for the match that would change her life.

Liz Blake, headteacher at Bickley Primary School, which Raducanu attended, beamed with pride when recalling the match on Good Morning Britain: “Staff who taught Emma are not surprised by her success.

“She was always very measured, determined and competitive and won the sprint every year.

“She was very bright and good at all subjects, maths in particular.

“To think that she’s 18 and she’s recently taken her A levels and there she is, all those many miles away playing fantastic tennis and reaching the finals.

“We’re so incredibly proud of her.”

Raducanu’s love for maths and academia shines through on a personal level. At the end of last year, she shared a clip working on a maths equation on Instagram – the answer ingeniously resembling a message reading “Merry Christmas”.

Maths and sports share the need for mental determination – a link very well portrayed by Britain’s No 1 tennis star.

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