Emma Raducanu US Open 2021

‘If you stay focused anything can happen’ – Emma Raducanu reflects on ‘surreal’ breakthrough season

Emma Raducanu has reflected on her ‘surreal’ breakout season and feels “it’s amazing how everything changed in one year” after going from a Covid-19 lockdown to US Open champion.

19-year-old Raducanu attracted the world’s attention after winning the US Open as a qualifier, becoming the first player to ever achieve such a feat at just 18 years old.

Her shock US Open victory has since seen Raducanu break into the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) top 20 and win the WTA Newcomer of the year and BT Action Woman of the Year awards.

Raducanu is also one of the favourites to win the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, an award given to the sportsperson judged to have achieved the most that year.

British phenomenon Raducanu is up against elite competition in Olympic diver Tom Daley, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty, Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling, World heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury and Paralympic cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.

In an interview with former British number one Andrew Castle, Raducanu reflected on her season and said “yeah, it’s pretty surreal. I remember my birthday last year and I think it was [in] one of the lockdowns.

“I wasn’t playing. It’s pretty amazing how everything changed in one year.

“It just shows that if you keep plugging away at your own work and not looking around, and stay focused, then anything can happen.”

When asked about her chances of winning the famed Sports Personality of the Year Award, Raducanu played down her chances and said she hopes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton will win the award after he offered her some valuable advice a few weeks ago.

“Am I preparing a speech? No, I mean, definitely not. I’m rooting for Lewis [Hamilton].

“He’s been such a great role model for me in terms of helping me out and through these next stages. He’s a really cool person.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.