Emma Raducanu has revealed that she feels no added pressure as the defending US Open champion, and goes into her first-round match tonight “starting from scratch”.
A year ago, the 19-year-old superstar stunned New York as she came through the qualifying rounds to win the title in only her second Grand Slam.
And despite the spotlight, Raducanu is adamant she goes into her opening match against Alize Cornet without undue pressure.
Speaking before the game, she said: “You’re just starting from scratch.
“I need to discard any pressures there are from the outside. You face the person in front of you. I know people will want to beat me, but I’ve got to stay on it and stay super focused.
“I think you guys are thinking more about pressure and ranking than me. I think defending a title is just something that the press makes up. I’m just taking it one match at a time.”
Who is Emma Raducanu?
Emma Raducanu is a professional tennis player from Great Britain, who was born on November 13, 2002, in Toronto, Canada, to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, with the family moving to the UK when Emma was a baby.
Raducanu’s father was instrumental in getting her involved in sports. She started out pursuing ballet classes, but then her father decided to place her in horse riding, swimming, tap dancing, basketball, skiing, golf, go-karting and motorcross, all alongside her tennis practice.
In 2021, she created history at the US Open, when she became the first-ever male or female qualifier in the history of tennis to win the Grand Slam final.
The British player won three matches in qualifying, and seven in the main draw, including a win over the American Shelby Rogers, as well as Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, and Maria Sakkari, winning the championship against Leylah Fernandez.
Despite her meteoric successes, the teenager has struggled to adapt to the conditions of full-time life on tour, and has also suffered injury.
In the Australian Open in January, she suffered from blisters, as well as a side strain before Wimbledon.
What is Emma Raducanu’s net worth?
Emma Raducanu’s net worth is currently approximately £10m, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Following her incredible win, Raducanu won huge endorsements with global brands, including Dior, Vodafone, Tiffany & Co, Porsche and HSBC.
The star’s agent Max Eisenbud revealed that Raducanu is limited to 18 days of sponsorship per year, in order to find the right balance between tennis and endorsements.
Eisenbud said: “I would imagine by the end of the year the amount of days she uses will be around 13.
“But when the 19th day comes, and it’s millions of dollars and you have got to say ‘no’ because you’re being true to the 18 days.
“If she had zero shoot dates everything would be the same. It’s been a tough year.
“It’s probably panned out, she got a lot of bad luck and what really hurt her was (catching) Covid and not having a great off-season, and then she was playing catch up.
“But I think that if she had zero shoot dates, everything would be the same.
“I know from the outside, you guys want to look at all those things - but if she locked herself in the room for the whole year and didn’t do anything, I think it would be the same.”