Who is Emma Raducanu? The 18-year-old waiting for A-Level results lighting up Wimbledon

The 18-year-old continued her fairytale week by beating world number 45 Sorana Cirstea on Court One

Jonathan Veal
Monday 05 July 2021 12:58
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Emma Raducanu’s dream Wimbledon debut continued as she made it through to the last 16 where she will take on Ajla Tomljanovic.

The 18-year-old continued her fairytale week at the All England Club by beating world number 45 Sorana Cirstea 6-3 7-5 on Court One on Saturday night with a supreme display and is now the only remaining Brit in either the men’s or women’s singles draws.

It has been a miraculous run from the world No 338, who was handed a wild card to even be here and given she only played her first ever WTA Tour match last month.

“It’s incredible,” she said after beating Cirstea. “I’m so grateful for this wild card. Honestly, I just wanted to make the most out of it, try to show that I earned it. I’m really grateful for the All England Club’s support in taking a chance on me. And the way that I’m approaching my matches is each time I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why not?’. Like today, I was like, ‘Someone has to be in the second week, why not me?’. I’m just trying to stay here as long as possible. As I said, I’m just having such a blast. Everything is so well taken care of that it’s such a pleasure to be here.”

She will now take on world No 75 Tomljanovic next on Monday evening. Here, we take a closer look at the next rising star of British tennis:

Educating Emma

This summer is not all about Wimbledon for Raducanu as she is awaiting results for her A-Levels. She has been combining her studies with her tennis over the last 12 months, choosing not to travel to lower-level tournaments abroad, and sat exams in maths and economics at Newstead School. Despite her intelligence, Raducanu insists she is focused on a career in tennis.

Mixed heritage

Raducanu was actually born in Toronto in 2002 to a Chinese mother and Romanian father and the family moved over to England when she was two. Although she has lived in London, she has fond memories of going to see her grandmother in Romania. She said: “My grandma, Mamiya, still lives in central Bucharest. I go back a couple times a year, stay with her, see her. It’s really nice. I love the food, to be honest. I mean, the food is unbelievable. And my grandma’s cooking is also something special. I do have ties to Bucharest.”

A sporting youth

Emma Raducanu in action

It was perhaps inevitable Raducanu would have a career in professional sport, given the way her father pushed her as a youngster. She started off attending ballet classes, but her father decided sport was the way forward and had his daughter do horse riding, swimming, tap dancing, basketball, skiing, golf, go-karting and motocross, all alongside her tennis practice.

A recent debut

It is incredible to think that Raducanu only made her first WTA Tour main draw appearance last month at the Nottingham Open. She lost 6-4 6-3 to compatriot Harriet Dart in the first round before making the quarter-finals of a lower-level tournament at the same venue the following week. That persuaded Wimbledon to offer her a wild card into the main draw and the rest is history.

Success at an early age

She has some sort of form at Wimbledon, having made it to the 2018 juniors quarter-finals where she came up against future French Open winner Iga Swiatek Raducanu followed that up with a run to the same stage of the US Open juniors a few months later. She won the first ITF junior title she was allowed to compete in, aged just 13.