Emma Raducanu has revealed she has given her US Open trophy to the Lawn Tennis Association as thanks for backing her to a Major title. The Bromley teenager shot to worldwide fame by becoming the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam title last month.
But after her second-round victory at the Transylvanian Open yesterday, the British No.1 said she wanted to share the glory at home with the national body.
And her full-scale replica trophy, made by her sponsors Tiffany, is to go on display at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton when it arrives in the UK.
“I thought it was just a nice gift and a nice moment,” she said. “I think they’ve done a lot for me so it was just a token of appreciation.
“I wanted them to have it as a sign and a big thank you for everything they have done, helping me through the young ages. They took control in my development. So, it’s a little gift.
“I got it shipped straight to the NTC so I can’t wait to go. It will be a special moment when I see it.”
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Raducanu, 18, started playing at LTA camps at the age of 10 and still receives financial backing of £80,000 a year plus medical and coaching support a year even after banking $2.5m from the US Open.
The world No.23 reached her first WTA quarter-finals yesterday with a convincing 6-3 6-4 victory in her Romanian derby with Ana Bogdan. “It’s a really cool moment for me,” she admitted. After saving three break points in a nervy opening serving game, she won 87% of points on her first serve and broke the Bogdan serve three times.
But Raducanu insisted she still needs to improve. “It’s definitely taking me some time to find my feet still,” she said. “I don’t think I am the finished product yet.
“The biggest thing for me is physical. I just need to be playing matches week in week out back to back. And trying to maintain the same level physically. So that’s something I’m going to focus on in the off season.”
Raducanu is one win away from an anticipated semi-final showdown with top seed Simona Halep. But first she warned of the danger of facing fellow teenager Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine on Friday.
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“She beat me – absolutely destroyed me -in the juniors every single time, so it will be an interesting match,” said Raducanu
Her father Ian sat in the press box in the crowdless BTarena yesterday to watch her second win in Romania and the teenager often looked up for encouragement.
“It means a lot that he is here in his home country,” she said.
“He wouldn’t normally travel with me but because it is Romania, he wasn’t going to miss the opportunity. He wasn’t in New York when that special moment happened but now he can really experience a bit of how it is after a bit of success, to just really enjoy it, especially being at home. I think we all feel very comfortable and welcome here.”