The incredible story of Emma Raducanu: she won the US Open, became a commercial boom and became a millionaire in three weeks, but she can’t find a coach

She was 15 years and a few months old in March 2018. Simona Halep (Romania), Garbiñe Muguruza (Spain), Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) and Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) were dominating the scene in women’s tennis. American Serena Williams already had her 23rd Grand Slam singles title and the chase was on. of the historical mark of 24 conquests of the Australian Margaret Court. At the Australian Open 2018, Wozniacki had beaten Halep in the final. There was no sign of the pandemic. It was a normal world. For her a different world was opening up…

He was in his first ITF, the tournaments where they begin to collect points for the world ranking. It was in Nanjing, China. Because of her physical features, many thought that she was a local tennis player. But no: Emma Raducanu was a native of Toronto, Canada, and british by adoption, since when he was two years old his family (Ian and Renee) moved to London. In Nanjing she won her first match on cement floor and in the dream way: with a good bicycle (6-0 and 6-0) to the Japanese Satsuki Koike for the first qualifying round. She but she couldn’t get into the main draw as she fell into the last filter.

Emma Raducanu hugs the US Open champion trophy

At that time, and several years later as well, Raducanu had no money, although he did hope that the expenses of his tours would be covered by the powerful Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the British Federation. They are worlds apart from Argentina in terms of having funds: a country that in itself has millionaire annual income that provides nothing less than Wimbledon, the famous Grand Slam tournament on grass. A contest that would paradoxically mark a milestone in the early career of young Emma.

At the next ITF, Nanjing 3, Raducanu entered the main draw after qualifying, winning two matches and reaching the quarterfinals. He had pocketed $367 for all concepts and his first two ranking points. These are moments that elite athletes, tennis players in this case, remember all their lives. Months later, she tried Wimbledon qualifying: eliminated in the first round. She was the 878th in the world. And in October she would get her first title: the ITF in Antalya, Turkey, which distributed 15,000 dollars in prizes. five wins, 10 points for the ranking and a prize of 2352 dollars. It was the most succulent bag of him, close to turning 16 (on November 13).

The boom at Wimbledon ended in the round of 16: he felt bad and had to leave
The boom at Wimbledon ended in the round of 16: he felt bad and had to leaveBEN STANSALL – AFP

After playing just two tournaments in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, 2021 would have his first great function reserved for him: Wimbledon. After two failed attempts and falling in the first round of qualifying, he received a wild-card that was magical. She was 338 in the ranking. She outlasted 150 (Diatchenko), 42 (Vondrousukova) and 45 (Cirstea) without dropping sets. She caused a great revolution. She filled the fields and everyone was talking about the new phenomenonof their crossing of nations at the family level (Romanian father, Chinese mother) and of residence (Canadian turned British). An explosion that reached the center court of the All England to face the quarterfinals against the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, 75 in the world. The situation completely overwhelmed her. She felt bad, she had palpitations and breathing problems, she was treated on the court itself and retired after losing 6-4, 3-0 and leaving. The concern for the troubled teenager only ceased the next day, when she appeared with the freshness of her smile in a note on TV.

But his life had already changed in that July 2021. She was among the top 185 in the ranking and from All England she had won almost $250,000 in prize money to be able to reorganize her career. That wild-card and her performance, of course, had changed the equation for her and her entire family. A few weeks later, Raducanu appeared in the Wembley box, invited to see the soccer team at Euro 2021 that Italy won by defeating the local team in the final. Later, the figure of her was seen in the pits of Silverstone, during the activity of the British Grand Prix of Formula 1. She was a star of the sport after that magical Wimbledon.

Emma Raducanu at Wembley, during Euro 2021 soccer
Emma Raducanu at Wembley, during Euro 2021 soccerInstagram @emmaraducanu

It was a turning point in his life also on a commercial level. Notes, public exposure, invitations to marketing events. The companies began to set their eyes on this new boom that had suddenly come to women’s tennis. And just two months later, the impact of winning a Grand Slam: the US Open. The girl with 10 wins in 20 days, three from qualifying and seven from the main draw. Out of all anticipation. She arrived as 150 in the world and left among the 22 best. She beat 12 (Belinda Bencic) and 18 (Maria Sakkari), among others. To defeat in the final of the teenagers to the Canadian Leylah Fernandez (73). Harvesting, in addition, 2040 points and 2,500,000 dollars.

If after Wimbledon she became known, after obtaining the US Open his fame was unclassifiable. Interviews at the New York Stock Exchange, attendance at celebrity events and even charity tennis exhibitions with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton upon her return to Britain. But it would not be the most succulent: in those weeks after the triumph at the US Open his bank account exceeded the most optimistic calculations. And in some way, it serves to graph what happens when an athlete achieves a relevant triumph, it generates those authentic “bombings” that collapse all reasonable forecasts and calculations.

Emma Raducanu at a charity exhibition with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, after winning the US Open
Emma Raducanu at a charity exhibition with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, after winning the US OpenJeremy Selwyn – Pool Evening Standard

It is estimated that Emma Raducanu, his commercial agent, signed advertising contracts worth around 15 million dollars. A year before, she was still studying and taking high school exams and suddenly she was famous, a world tennis figure and a millionaire. With what firms did she reach agreements with the new star? With Porsche, British Airways, Tiffany and Co, Vodafone, Dior and Evian, among the main A jump that is better explained if you take into account what your finances were, according to the summary of the company Harbor 6 Limited, which manages your income.

“Emma’s assets were £55,682 ($70,000), but she owed creditors £54,887, leaving her with about £795 ($1,000). Another £750 was deducted as ‘provision for liabilities’, leaving her with £44 ($55). The accounts show how dizzying her rise has been; she has gone from making almost no money to pocketing $2.5 million in prize money at the US Open and then signing huge endorsement deals with the likes of Porsche, Evian and Dior.”

Emma Raducanu is particularly disturbed by media talk about her millionaire earnings since winning the US Open. “Perhaps you see, in the news or on social networks, that I have signed this or that agreement, and I think it is quite misleading, because I am doing five or six hours a day (of training), I am in the club 12 hours. a day,” Raducanu told reporters. “I think it’s unfair, but it’s something I’ve learned to deal with and be a little more insensitive to outside noise,” added the tennis player.

Interestingly, despite being 12th in the world today, Raducanu continues to hold a single title as a professional: that US Open. He did not close 2021 well (two wins and three losses in three tournaments). And 2022 did not start with great success either: out of 12 games, he registers 5 successes and 7 defeats. His best production was the quarter-finals he reached in Stuttgart last week. And her lack of stability with her coaches is another trait that characterizes her and that does not speak well of her. Barely five months the valued Torben Beltz lasted him, the coach who accompanied the best moments of the German Angelique Kerber at the top of tennis. Even before winning the US Open she decided to let go of her usual coach, Nigel Sears, from the British Federation. He hired Andrew Richardson and after the resounding success at Flushing Meadows he fired him, understanding that as a result of the leap in quality that he had given, he needed a different driving. Well, she now goes back to the sources: she will be advised by coaches from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Emma Raducanu with the ballboys of Indian Wells
Emma Raducanu with the ballboys of Indian WellsInstagram

“I want to thank Torben for his training, his professionalism and his dedication during the last half year. He has a big heart and I have enjoyed our strong chemistry during the time we have been together. I feel that the best direction for my development is the transition to a new training model with the support of the LTA in the meantime,” Raducanu said in a statement.

Raducanu, along with his father Ian, will be looking for the fourth coach in a year. Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson, and Torben Beltz rushed past her. And just when she had achieved the best production in this five-month cycle with Beltz, reaching the quarterfinals in Stuttgart, comes the untimely end of the relationship. Everything that Raducanu achieved on the court in a brilliant way, at a marketing and commercial level, does not match the instability that she exhibits regarding her work groups. Time will tell if her time of glory is short-lived or if she still has room to develop her full potential and remain among the best in the world for a long time. With 19 years, it is clear that she has plenty of room to achieve it. It depends on her and her emotions.