Emma Raducanu is born in Toronto on November 13, 2002. Her father, Ian, was born in Romania, while her mother, Renee, is Chinese. When Emma is two years old, the family moves to the United Kingdom, making their home in Bromley, just about an hour’s drive southeast of downtown London. While the literary figure is destined to idle away the hours, the athlete trains for success from an early age.
She begins playing when she’s five years old. She practices before school and again in the evening. She even continues training when the floodlights go out. “My dad always told me, if I could serve in the dark, it would be easy in the daylight.” Even as a child, she knows exactly what she wants to do: play at nearby Wimbledon and clinch a Grand Slam victory.
Emma also begins driving go-karts at the age of six. “I thought it was cool and a lot of fun. The better I got, the more I enjoyed the feeling of speed and control.” Not even motocross racing gives high-energy Emma pause for thought. “Which kid doesn’t like getting dirty in the mud?” she asks, laughing. “Seriously though, that was a step up from go-karting. Motocross requires coordination and balance – and gives you an adrenaline rush.”
As a schoolgirl, Emma really liked her trainer’s Porsche and dreamed of having her own one day. She goes to Brands Hatch to watch the British Carrera Cup races and the Tourenwagen Meisterschaft final.
Emma even visits a Formula 1 Grand Prix. “I follow different categories. I like Formula E because it’s an environmentally friendly innovation and the electric motors generate sensational acceleration. All the passing is also really exciting. I was thrilled when Porsche won for the first time!” She has experienced the performance of an electric vehicle firsthand – in the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo. “It was the most high-performance car I’ve ever been in on a public road.” She would like to race again – but first tennis.
Just weeks later, she competes in the second Grand Slam tournament of her career: the US Open. A qualifier had never won the trophy before, turning the world of tennis upside down.
Emma Raducanu has become a celebrity not with a single stroke, but with many professional strokes, some of them exceeding 160 kmh. Well-wishers and critics ride up and down with her as if in a paternoster lift. Her motivation on her way up and down: “Continuous improvement and getting better and just trying to learn and experience new things.” Emma has big plans. But first tennis. And then we’ll see.
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