We have had enough of ‘celebrity’ culture – Emma Raducanu is a perfect new role model

The teenager’s US Open victory will see a shift in values towards fundamental, straightforward decency, writes Hamish McRae

Sunday 12 September 2021 21:30
<p>Emma Raducanu lifts the US Open trophy on Saturday </p>

Emma Raducanu lifts the US Open trophy on Saturday

Something so special happened at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City on Saturday that it will take time to grasp just how far the seismic shock of Emma Raducanu’s triumph will travel.

Some things are easy to see. It changes tennis, of course. For two young women, both still in their teens, to give such a demonstration of authority, grace and power, will ensure that tennis remains embedded as one of the top global sports in terms of media coverage and financial muscle. It changes the position of women in tennis, for earnings of women players will climb vis-à-vis those of the still-higher-paid men. It has been estimated that Emma Raducanu could pass triple grand slam winner Sir Andy Murray in earnings, thanks to her appeal among Generation Z.

But this is not just about tennis, or young women, or indeed about sport. There may well be two other stories here, one about how advertisers reach people, the other about the social values of US and European democracies.

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