Sport Recalling when US Open champion Emma Raducanu impressed as a nine-year-old in Edinburgh
Emma Raducanu, 18, begins US Open final in front of 24,000 fans
Emma Raducanu, 18, is taking on Leylah Fernandez, 19, in front of 24,000 fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York - the first all-teenage women's final at Flushing Meadows in 22 years. On the line is a prize cheque for £1.8million - more than eight times Raducanu's current career earnings - as well as 2,000 ranking points, which would move the teenager up from her current standing of 150 to 23. The match was preceded by a poignant ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, with a massive Stars and Stripes flag unfurled by female cadets, while a '9-11-01' stencil has been painted onto the court.
Emma Raducanu is the British sportsperson on everybody's lips after her incredible US Open singles triumph last weekend, but she caught the eye ten years ago in Scotland when winning the nine-and-under Scottish championships.
On her visit to Edinburgh in 2011, there was no room for her precocious talents at the traditional home of the sport – the Craiglockhart courts – due to so many tournaments being played at the one time. After her triumph in New York on Saturday over Leylah Fernandez, they would be rolling out the red carpet today.
Britain goes wild for Emma Raducanu as fans cheer her on in US Open
The tennis ace, who won the first set of a thrilling final against Leylah Fernandez, was hailed as a role model and inspiration at a viewing party held at her home tennis club in Beckenham. 1/5 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail Fans across the country are crowding around their TVs and packing the pubs to cheer on Emma Raducanu in the US Open final 2/5 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail The British star, 18, became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam and the first British woman to take home a title in 44 years 3/5 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Ma
John Stevenson, from Glasgow, referee of the nine-and-under Scottish Championship event won by Raducanu in 2011, recalls: “There were so many entries for the various age-groups that Tennis Scotland had to utilise extra courts at the David Lloyd Centre, the Gyle.
“The nine and unders were played there over two days and the competitors had to put up with pouring rain!
“Emma was obviously good (to win). This was a grade two national Great Britain event and all the top youngsters tended to take part.
Video: Barry Cowen believes Emma Raducanu will win US Open final (Daily Mail)
“It was maybe different as they got older as some of the top under-18s, say, had other (tennis) commitments but youngsters, like Emma, would travel from all around the country for that age-group.
Emma Raducanu's 'immensely proud' former coach says win is 'tough to put into words'
TENNIS sensation Emma Raducanu's former coach said her historic US Open win is tough to put into words as he predicted she could inspire an entire generation of British tennis players.Matt James said: "It is tough to put into words, to be honest, obviously immensely proud as well and just excited of what could come from this.
“I certainly remember taking the photograph of Emma with her medal, which has appeared on social media.”
Among the field of 24 competitors was former Firrhill HS, Edinburgh, student Lucia Rizza, who has gone on to win Scottish age-group and East of Scotland senior titles as well as enrolling at the University of North Dakota, a top tennis establishment, for the upcoming academic year.
Coach Derek Croll, Talent and Performance Coordinator with Tennis Scotland from 2008-2017, recalls that, looking back, there were clear comparisons to be made with a young Andy Murray, a three-time grand slam champion.
“Every now and again a player comes along who you think could really be headed for great things," said Croll.
“Emma was one of those. I’m thinking today it was like when I actually played against a very young Andy in the (annual) North Berwick tournament. I just had a feeling then Andy was destined to be special.”
Emma Raducanu makes history as she wins US Open – here’s how people are reacting .
Emma Raducanu makes history as she wins US Open – here’s how people are reacting -Emma Raducanu celebrates winning the opening set (Elise Amendola/AP)