Emma Raducanu Australian Open 2022

Emma Raducanu: ‘Beating the boys at tennis gave me my confidence’

Emma Raducanu has lifted the lid on her childhood experiences and explained how tennis helped develop her confidence.

Raducanu is still in the very early stages of her career, although she has made a serious impression already after winning the US Open last year as a qualifier.

That achievement required a lot of confidence and belief, and Raducanu has explained how that was earned during her formative years.

“I used to be really shy as a young girl and playing tennis and beating the boys and coming back when I was losing, that just brought me a lot of confidence,” Raducanu said.

“Yeah, I can say that I’m definitely more comfortable and outgoing now than I was when I was younger, and I think tennis has brought me that.”

Like many elite athletes, Emma Raducanu struggled to make friends at school because the was prioritising her tennis.

It’s a sacrifice she acknowledges as a major one, but one with which she is now comfortable.

“You know how secondary school is,” she explained. “All the kind of friendship groups are formed in like year seven, eight, nine, and they’re constantly changing in the early few years.

“So if you’re not there and you’re not going to some things or hanging out at lunch, or break, then, you know, you kind of get isolated and forgotten about.

“I sort of made peace with that later on, I just went to school to study. But I’d say that not having as many friends from school is probably one of the biggest sacrifices I had to make.”

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