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Sport What can't she do: Emma Raducanu is not just a star on a tennis court

15:00  12 september  2021
15:00  12 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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a group of people riding on the back of a woman: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Although Emma Raducanu has shot to stardom for securing one of the greatest achievements in tennis and stamped her name on the sport's record books, the 18-year-old isn't just a dab hand with a racket.

The teenager from Kent has been playing tennis since she was just five years old but counts it as just one of her many sporting talents along with golfing, skiing and ping pong.

Her parents Ian and Renee, who both work in finance, were keen to ensure she remained well-balanced and her hobbies also include go-karting and motocross, as she has remained dedicated to her studies alongside tennis.

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Emma smashed her way onto the British tennis scene by making the fourth round of Wimbledon as a wild card but it was at last night's US Open final where she cemented her status as one of the sport's breakout talents.

Having to make it to the major tournament through qualifying rounds due to not owning a high enough rank, Raducanu became the first qualifier ever - man or woman - to win a grand slam championship and the first British woman to win a grand slam since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

But Raducanu is far from an overnight success, having started playing tennis at the age of five, three years after arriving from Toronto in Canada with her family.

a woman holding a racket on a court: Emma Raducanu celebrates during the final US Open Championships 2021 © Provided by Daily Mail Emma Raducanu celebrates during the final US Open Championships 2021 Emma Raducanu with the US Open Women's Singles `trophy © Provided by Daily Mail Emma Raducanu with the US Open Women's Singles `trophy

Bromley Tennis Centre was the next port of call, where she trained from the ages of 10 to 16, while Newstead Wood grammar school, which also produced world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, also played a significant part in her sporting education.

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Not that Raducanu needed much encouragement, with varied interests in go-karting, motocross, horse riding, tap dancing, golf, skiing and basketball.

The teenager regularly shares photos and videos on her social media pages showing off her array of sporting talents.

Outside of tennis, Raducanu is a bit of a petrolhead and counts F1 and motocross as some of her biggest passions.

Between the ages of five and eight, she used to do go-karting, starting out in a bus garage in Streatham before moving on to a proper track - and from the age of nine, she also did motocross and has shared childhood photos of herself on a baby Kawasaki.

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In her spare time, she still likes to dabble in both go-karting and motocross - although it feels as if she might struggle to find the time after her rise to stardom.

After her breakout success at Wimbledon, Pirelli welcomed Raducanu for a visit to the track during the British Grand Prix and she shared impressive footage of her ride in a McLaren 720s, describing the experience as 'a treat'.

And in China, where her mother was born and Emma visits each year, the teenager is better known for her skills as a ping-pong player.

According to the Times, Emma made annual trips to her mother's home city of Shenyang before the pandemic and would regularly train at the city's ping pong club.

Tian Fangzheng, head of the club, described Raducanu as an 'outstanding' player, adding: 'When all the other kids were tired, she was not.'

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Tian told the Times Raducanu's mother mentioned her daughter was also 'quite a good' tennis player.

'You can tell she has the movements of playing tennis when playing ping pong,' he said. 'She picked up the sport very quickly and you can tell she's a sports person.'

Raducanu has shared videos showing her impressive ping pong skills on her Instagram page.

Her success in tennis has been put down to many things including her dedication and hard work but her athleticism has undoubtedly played its part.

British teammate Heather Watson commented on her sheer strength and says she has regularly been left open-mouthed at the weight she is able to lift.

Emma Raducanu at the driving range © Provided by Daily Mail Emma Raducanu at the driving range a person holding a golf club: Emma Raducanu at the driving range © Provided by Daily Mail Emma Raducanu at the driving range

The 5'9'' teenager is a fan of sharing clips of her gruelling weight training on her Instagram, with Watson noting Emma can hip-thrust 200kg - something she says 'most of the guys couldn't do.'

Raducanu isn't new to being compared to the boys and told British Vogue for their October edition: 'The whole [tennis] squad I was in was all boys.

'It was quite intimidating in the beginning to, you know, get out of my shell and actually begin to really enjoy what I was doing because I was so scared. I'm not sure of what.'

Outside of sport she has taken a keen interest in her parents' Chinese-Romanian: she speaks Mandarin, binge-watches Taiwanese television shows, and loves nothing more than visiting paternal grandmother Mamiya in Bucharest.

Raducanu's heritage also influences her choice of role models with China's Li Na and Romania's Simona Halep listed as inspirations.

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Like Emma, I was a teen tennis prodigy...but the most I won was £15 .
Christine Truman Janes, 80, reached the US Open final aged 18 in 1959 but here she reveals how she never made more than £15 from a game.Exactly 62 years earlier, Christine had also been a mere 18 years old and representing Britain in the women's singles final of the very same competition.

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