‘Life is exactly the same’ insists Emma Raducanu as she targets US Open place

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Emma Raducanu’s life may have changed overnight following her fairytale Wimbledon run, but the teenager insists things are no different for her.

The 18-year-old this summer became the youngest Briton to make it to the fourth round at SW19 in what was just her second senior tournament.

That led to prime time TV slots, tickets to the European Championship and the British Grand Prix and a surge in social media followers, where her numbers have now dwarfed that of established British players.

Her return to court in the United States over the last few weeks has seen her star rise further, as she was handed the headline slot on the main court for the opening round of a WTA Tour event in San Jose while she was literally the poster girl for a second-tier tournament in Chicago last week, where she reached the final.

But Raducanu, who begins her quest to qualify for the US Open on Wednesday where she must win three matches, said: “Life is exactly the same. After Wimbledon I took five days off and then I practised for two weeks and I was straight on tour and competing.

“And when you are on the road you just zone out and focus on your next match so in a way I don’t feel any difference.

“I am grateful for the people that are following me. I don’t think I am that interesting but it is nice to have that many people following me.”

She had completed her A Levels just before Wimbledon and has since returned results of A* in Maths and A in Economics.

However, despite those impressive results, she is now ready to throw herself into her tennis career.

“I am just going to focus on my tennis, I think it is a great opportunity, now I can just come on tour and play in these tournaments each week and better my game and my ranking,” she added.

“That is all I want to do right now. I think that learning doesn’t just have to be by a course, you can constantly learn from reading or keeping an eye out on the news.

Emma Raducanu became the nation's sweetheart with her Wimbledon run last month
Emma Raducanu became the nation’s sweetheart with her Wimbledon run last month (David Gray/AELTC Pool/PA)

“Developing that way is also learning and travelling a lot you also learn about yourself and things you won’t learn in a book.”

Away from all the off-court attention that she got from Wimbledon, Raducanu found the whole thing pretty useful.

Her amazing run ended in tears as she was forced to retire in the fourth round after suffering with breathing difficulties.

And she says that gave her insight into what is needed to thrive in the sport.

“Wimbledon was an extremely positive experience, I learned so much, just about my game and what it takes to perform at the top,” she said.

“It has definitely shown me how much work I need to do physically and the time I have got now that I can travel and play these tournaments week in week out and I can gain fitness just by doing that.

“It has definitely being an eye-opening experience in terms of parts of my game I need to work on.”

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