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Emma Raducanu: From golf to table tennis…how the British tennis sensation isn’t just a star on the court




While Emma Raducanu has become famous for achieving one of the greatest tennis achievements and stamping her name in the sport’s record books, the 18-year-old isn’t just a free-range hand with a racket.

The Kent teenager has been playing tennis since she was just five years old, but considers it just one of her many sporting talents, along with golfing, skiing and table tennis.

Her parents Ian and Renee, who both work in finance, wanted to make sure she was well balanced and her hobbies include karting and motocross as she is devoted to her studies in addition to tennis.

Emma made her way onto the British tennis scene by making it to the fourth round of Wimbledon as a wild card, but it was at the US Open final last night that she confirmed her status as one of the sport’s breakthrough talents.

Raducanu had to make it to the major tournament through qualifying rounds for not ranking high enough, becoming the first ever qualifier – male or female – to win a grand slam championship and the first British woman to win a grand slam since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

But Raducanu is far from an overnight success as she started playing tennis at the age of five, three years after arriving in Canada with her family from Toronto.

Emma Raducanu with the US Open Women's Singles `trophy'

Star Emma Raducanu has made her way into the tennis record books with her historic win at the US Open last night, but the talented 18-year-old isn’t just a good hand with a racket. Pictured: During the final (left) and with the US Open trophy (right)

Bromley Tennis Center was the next port of call, where she trained from ages 10 to 16, while Newstead Wood grammar, which is also home to world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, also played an important role in her athletic education.

Not that Raducanu needed much encouragement, with diverse interests in karting, motocross, horseback riding, tap dancing, golf, skiing and basketball.

The teen regularly shares photos and videos on her social media pages showing off her array of sports talents.

Raducanu doesn't shy away from being a petrolhead and is an avid fan of motocross.  Pictured: Emma on a baby Kawasaki

Raducanu doesn’t shy away from being a petrolhead and is an avid fan of motocross. Pictured: Emma on a baby Kawasaki

Between five and eight Emma went karting, first in a bus garage in Streatham before going to a real track

Between five and eight Emma went karting, first in a bus garage in Streatham before going to a real track

Pictured: After her impressive run at Wimbledon, Emma was invited to enjoy a ride in a McLaren 720s at the British GP

Pictured: After her impressive run at Wimbledon, Emma was invited to enjoy a ride in a McLaren 720s at the British GP

Outside of tennis, Raducanu is a bit of a petrolhead and considers F1 and motocross some of her greatest passions.

Between the ages of five and eight she went karting, first in a bus garage in Streatham before going to a real track – and from the age of nine she also did motocross and shared childhood photos of herself on a baby Kawasaki.

In her spare time, she still enjoys karting and motocross, although it feels like she struggles to find time after she’s become famous.

Following her breakthrough success at Wimbledon, Pirelli welcomed Raducanu to the track during the British Grand Prix and shared impressive footage of her drive in a McLaren 720s, describing the experience as ‘a treat’.

And in China, where her mother was born and Emma visits every year, the teen is better known for her skills as a ping-pong player.

According to the Times, before the pandemic, Emma made annual trips to Shenyang, her mother’s hometown, and trained regularly at the city’s ping-pong club.

While she may be the biggest tennis star in Britain at the moment, Emma is better known in China for her ping pong skills

While she may be the biggest tennis star in Britain at the moment, Emma is better known in China for her ping pong skills

Emma Raducanu training

Emma Raducanu training

Pictured: Emma’s discipline and hard work helped her win the US Open final last night and she is always eager to share how much hard work goes into her training regimen with her fans through her social media pages

Tian Fangzheng, head of the club, described Raducanu as an “excellent” player, adding: “When all the other kids were tired, she wasn’t.”

Tian told the Times that Raducanu’s mother said her daughter was also a “pretty good” tennis player.

“You can tell she has the moves of tennis when she plays ping pong,” he said. “She picked up the sport very quickly and you can tell she’s a sports person.”

Raducanu has shared videos on her Instagram page showing off her impressive ping pong skills.

Her success in tennis is due to many things, including her dedication and hard work, but her athleticism has undoubtedly played a part.

British team-mate Heather Watson commented on her sheer strength, saying she is regularly left open-mouthed due to the weight she can lift.

Emma Raducanu on the driving range

Emma Raducanu on the driving range

In addition to tennis, motocross and ping pong, Emma has also shown fans how to swing a golf club (pictured)

The 5’9” teen is a fan of sharing clips of her grueling weight training on her Instagram, with Watson noting that Emma can hip press 200kg – something she says “most guys couldn’t.”

Raducanu isn’t new to being compared to the guys, telling British Vogue ahead of their October issue: “The whole [tennis] The team I was in were all boys.

“It was pretty intimidating at first to, you know, come out of my shell and really enjoy what I was doing because I was so scared. I’m not sure what.’

Outside of sports, she is very interested in her parents’ Chinese-Romanian language: she speaks Mandarin, watches Taiwanese television programs and loves nothing more than to visit her paternal grandmother Mamiya in Bucharest.

Raducanu’s heritage also influences her choice of role models, citing Li Na from China and Simona Halep from Romania as sources of inspiration.




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