Emma Raducanu discusses plans for US Open prize money
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Emma Raducanu would be the biggest star in most rooms, but the Met Gala might have been the one place where she doesn’t stand out from the crowd. The charity even jam-packed with celebrities and famous faces welcomed another this year as teen tennis sensation Raducanu went along, and while there she got the chance to speak to one of her sporting heroes.
The 18-year-old is a known fan of motorsport, so it will have been a dream come true when she got to meet and speak to seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.
The 36-year-old was one of many who voiced their public support for Raducanu throughout her successful US Open campaign, and described her as an inspiration to himself and to millions of budding sports stars.
“It was just incredible to see her rise, the focus that she has, the sheer determination she has,” Hamilton said.
“She’s obviously such a sweet person as well, the UK has something really to be proud of, and I’m super proud of her, I can’t wait to see what she does next.
“You can take inspiration from anyone, and she is definitely an inspiring figure.”
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After meeting Hamilton in person at the Met Gala, Raducanu has opened up on what it was like to speak to one of her childhood sporting heroes.
“I managed to go to some really cool events and places,” she told BBC Breakfast.
“At the Met Gala I spoke to Lewis Hamilton, which was really cool being such a fan of motorsport and Formula One. It was really nice to see him and speak to him there.
“It was an artistic event with some great performances, and I was very honoured and grateful to have been able to go.”
Raducanu’s success has caused such renewed interest in tennis that even she herself has struggled to book a court.
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She told Good Morning Britain she had had difficulty finding a free court, to the shock of hosts Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway.
The latter joked: “Can’t you just turn up and say: ‘I’m Emma Raducanu. Give me the court!’ Surely everybody has to hand it over?”
After Raducanu laughed and shook her head, Garraway continued: “Well one thing you know is that you have made [tennis] very, very popular. I’m sure you can be pleased with that.”
The 18-year-old may next be in action in October at the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, close to where her paternal grandmother lives in Bucharest.
Her US Open achievements have catapulted her up the rankings to 23rd in the world, meaning she will likely be able to skip the qualification process for her next scheduled Grand Slam, the Australian Open in January.
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