Emma Raducanu praises her 'tough' parents for helping her win US Open

‘My very, very hard-to-please parents are finally happy’: Emma Raducanu says her ‘toughest critics’ are over-the-moon at US Open victory – but thanks them for giving her the ‘mental fitness’ to win tournament

  • Emma Raducanu puts her success at the US Open down to her ‘tough’ and ‘very, very hard to please’ parents
  • 18-year-old tennis star praises her father Ian and mother Renee for bringing her up to have mental strength
  • She spoke to her parents on the phone because they could not be in New York due to Covid travel restrictions
  • Raducanu appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America today and also thanked the Queen for her message

British tennis star Emma Raducanu today put her success at the US Open down to her ‘tough’ and ‘very, very hard to please’ parents, praising them for bringing her up to have mental strength.

The 18-year-old said her father Ian and mother Renee Raducanu had been hugely influential in her sporting prowess and they were ‘just so happy and proud of me’ when she spoke to them on the phone after her win.

They could not be in New York to see her extraordinary journey through to the tournament’s final because of strict Covid-19 rules in the US which meant they would have needed a special exemption visa to travel.

But Raducanu told ABC’s Good Morning America today: ‘I think that from a young age I’ve always sort of been brought up to have mental strength. My parents, you know, they played a huge part of my upbringing.

‘They were pretty tough on me when I was young but it kind of shaped the way and I think now it’s helping on the biggest stages in the world and Arthur Ashe Stadium when you really need it and it was basically a full capacity – so it was very, very cool. ‘

British tennis star Emma Raducanu is interviewed on Good Morning Britain on ABC today following her US Open victory

Speaking on GMA, Raducanu today put her success at the US Open down to her ‘tough’ and ‘very, very hard to please’ parents

She added: ‘It was really nice to talk to them after I won. They were just so happy and proud of me and my toughest critics and very, very hard to please but, yeah, I got them with this one. They couldn’t resist.’

Raducanu beat Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final, winning all 20 sets she played in qualifying and the main draw as she became the first British woman to win a grand slam singles title since 1977 on Saturday.

Romanian Ian and Renee, who is Chinese, were living in Toronto, Canada, when only child Raducanu was born, and the family moved to the UK when she was two. Neither have yet been seen since her victory.

Both work in finance and their home is in a cul-de-sac in Bromley, South East London, where Raducanu and her father would hit tennis balls together in the street while the coronavirus lockdowns were ongoing. 

During her GMA interview today, Raducanu also thanked the Queen for sending her a message of congratulations following her victory on Saturday, saying: ‘It is absolutely insane to think – it’s incredible.

‘I was so honoured and grateful to receive a note from Her Majesty. I mean, it meant everything to me and I’ll probably frame that letter and keep it in my room or something.’

Ian Raducanu is the father of Emma Raducanu and helped his daughter by playing tennis with her in their quiet cul-de-sac 

Emma Raducanu’s mother Renee attended her daughter’s matches at Wimbledon earlier this summer in July

Raducanu is pictured with her mother Renee as a young child. Renee could not be in New York to watch her in the US Open

But she added: ‘Honestly, I haven’t checked my messages yet. I’ve just been trying to enjoy the moment. And with my team the night of the final, we just had a really nice night.

‘We all spent the night just reflecting and it was a really cool moment because it’s been such a long trip for us and everything has gone so fast.

‘We were taking care of every single day and before we know it three weeks had gone, but we just got to reflect and share a few stories and it was a really nice night to have with everyone. ‘

After her win on Saturday, she told reporters that the first thing she was going to buy with her £1.8million prize money was a new pair of AirPod headphones after lost them.

Then, asked on GMA today whether she had bought them yet, Raducanu added: ‘No, net yet, I think I’ll do it before I leave New York for sure though. 

‘It’s funny, because actually the day before my semi-finals they found it, two and a half weeks later. It was like a great omen and a great start to the day and I knew it was going to be a great day when I found those in the changing room.’

And asked if she had a message for other young athletes, Raducanu told GMA: ‘It’s inner belief and just taking care of each day as best as possible because ten matches ago when I was playing my first round qualis, I did not think I’d be in the US Open final or winning it.

Emma Raducanu holds the US Open championship trophy after defeating Leylah Fernandez in the singles final on Saturday

Raducanu has thanked the Queen for her message of support on Saturday following her victory in the US Open

‘So, yeah, if just do the best you can and every single day time flies and you can really achieve anything with inner belief.’

Yesterday, Raducanu’s former coach said her sensational US Open win had already sparked a surge in interest among a new generation of youngsters to play tennis.

Staff and players at her old club said they were still ‘buzzing’s and said ‘the world is her oyster now’ after the 18 year-old became the first British female to win the US Open since Virginia Wade in 1968.

Raducanu played at Parklangley Club in Beckenham, South East London, where she was coached by Harry Bushnell from the age of six to 10.

He said he believes the new Raducanu era is ‘massive’ for British tennis which has been desperate to emulate the top flight achievements of Grand Slam winner Sir Andy Murray in the women’s game. 

Mr Bushnell said: ‘There will be more to come now. I know she is up to it. I saw her interviews after the match and she conducted herself incredibly well. She was not too emotional and held herself together impeccably.

‘When she was parading the trophy after the final, she said herself that she was ready to do anything that is thrown at her. While she is only 18, it just feels like she has been here before and she was born to do it.’

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