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British tennis sensation La Ducanu on the brink of sporting glory in the US finals

British teen tennis sensation Emma Raducanu didn’t expect to play at this year’s US Open.

The 18-year-old booked a return flight from New York at the end of the qualifying phase two weeks ago, assuming she wouldn’t advance to the main stage of the Grand Slam tournament. Her travel plans were radically changed by an unprecedented run to the women’s singles final on Saturday.

Back in the UK, fans stood up and began to notice, with free-to-air Channel 4 signing a last-minute deal and sharing live coverage of the final with Amazon Prime Video.

The Chief Content Officer for Channel 4 said: Ian Katz.

“Time here in New York has become much faster,” Raducanu told court on Thursday night after winning the semi-finals against the 17th seed from Greece, Maria Sakkari, on a straight set. “I take care of it every day, but three weeks later, three weeks before you know it, I’m in the finals and I can’t really believe it.”

Neither men nor women have ever qualified to reach the finals of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments, which are considered the pinnacle of tennis. Ranked 150th in the world before the tournament, she can be the first British woman to win a major tournament since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

However, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez stands between her and the trophy. This is another teenage surprise package trying to win her first Grand Slam. Fernandez, who had a more difficult run to the final before the tournament, was ranked 73rd in the world.

Raducanu on the way to knock out the American Shelby Rogers in the early round of the US Open © Danielle Parhizkaran / USA Today / Reuters

Raducanu, who hasn’t lost the set at the US Open, said from all post-match interviews. Just enjoy She continued her stay. However, sports industry executives said her performance seems ready to turn her into one of the most marketable figures in British sports.

With lasting success throughout her career, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, One of the most profitable female athletes in all sports.

“There’s everything there is to her becoming the dominant British sportswoman of her time,” said Tim Crowe, an independent sports marketing expert.

Raducanu’s shots of the glory of sport and its associated wealth have already represented a remarkable rise. Born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, she arrived in the United Kingdom at the age of two when her parents moved to Bromley in southeast London.

Earlier this year she completed Level A before playing at Wimbledon. This is her only experience in a Grand Slam tournament. There she became the youngest British woman to reach her last 16 years before being forced to retire during the match due to apparent dyspnea.

Radukanu is a product of the Lawn Tennis Association’s Talent Development Scheme, launched in 2018, for ages 16-24. The British Governing Body’s professional scholarship program for sports is designed to consistently produce athletes who can challenge the highest awards in sports.

This is in contrast to Andy Murray, the former boy in the world. Andy Murray, the last British player to win the US Open, left 15-year-old Scotland for private coaching in Spain.

Iain Bates, head of women’s tennis at LTA, said it was too early to declare the success of the new scholarship, despite the surge in Raducanu.

Greek Maria Sakkari congratulates Raducanu after a British player defeats Raducanu in the US Open semifinals

Greek Maria Sakkari congratulates Raducanu after British defeats Raducanu in the US Open semifinals © Robert Deutsch / USA Today / Reuters

“Six girls played in the qualifiers here, five of whom are in our professional scholarship program,” he said from New York. “My job needs to be done to move a group of five people, who had one Emma, ​​to the top 100. [ranked players in the world].. At that time, I think we started showing signs of progress. “

But Bates added that Raducanu would inspire his peers. “She learns very quickly, adapts to the speed of the game very quickly, and can level up very quickly. It shows what is possible and achieves higher for others. It gives that energy and belief that you can keep pushing yourself to do. “

In Fernandez, she faces another surprise finalist. The Canadian, who turned 19 on Monday, followed the shocking defeat of defending champion Osaka in the third round to former world number one Angelique Kerber and the second seed of the US Open, Arina Sabalenka. I won.

Raducanu will definitely add to the $ 300,000 prize pool he has earned in his short career. The US Open winner will bring back $ 2.5 million and the runner-up will pay $ 1.25 million.

Raducanu’s sole sponsors are sportswear group Nike and racket maker Wilson. Others definitely seek a connection with one of the brightest outlooks for the sport.

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“By simply updating an existing transaction, Raducanu can be expected to generate more than $ 1 million in revenue … Other brands will undoubtedly see Raducanu as a potential brand ambassador.” Conrad Weasek, Head of Sports Analysis at Global Data, Research Group, said. “”[She] It may have become the face of British tennis in the near future. “

Raducanu himself expressed a shock about how quickly she would come to court, while others thought about how to monetize her success.

“I obviously wanted to play a Grand Slam, but I didn’t know how fast it would be,” she said after winning the semifinals. “I have no words to compete in the Grand Slam finals at this stage of my career.”

Additional report by Murad Ahmed of London and Sarah Germano of New York

British tennis sensation La Ducanu on the brink of sporting glory in the US finals

Source link British tennis sensation La Ducanu on the brink of sporting glory in the US finals

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