British tennis champ Emma Raducanu on the effect of her win - “I can’t get on a tennis court either”
Having arrived home in London only last night, British tennis champ Emma Raducanu joined today’s Good Morning Britain live from her home to discuss her win, the ‘Raducanu Effect’, receiving congratulations from The Queen and the Prime Minister, attending The Met Gala with Lewis Hamilton and how she’s yet to check her bank account.
On winning the US Open less than a week ago, Emma commented: “It’s pretty amazing. I got home yesterday and it was really nice just to spend time with my family, but I watched the match last night actually in replay and slowly and gradually it’s sinking in a little bit. I was reliving some of the points and just trying to imagine what I was feeling in those situations.”
Speaking about whether it's actually more stressful watching the match rather than playing it, Emma explained: “I think 100 per cent it’s more stressful watching. I think when you are playing you feel like you have more control. In the moment and in the situation you can make the decisions, but I sort of knew already what was going to happen. But some of the moments, like the end and the time out - they were pretty nervous to watch, but in the moment I didn’t want to take it, as I thought I was going to miss my own rhythm up.
“I was having to serve breakpoint down, but we watched it and the slide looked really cool in slow motion.” Kate and Ben soon exclaimed: “You’re really, really cool!”
And on winning with her final serve, Emma revealed: “I was shocked, because one - I went for that serve out wide and I didn’t make it the whole match, I just missed every single one but that last point I just drove my legs like never before. Actually before the serve I was thinking, ‘If I’m going to need my services right here and I actually had a feeling I was going to hit that and finish on an ace, like a weird inside feeling.”
On when practising as a young child if she ever pretended a serve she made had won the US Open, she said: “It’s something that actually happens quite often when we’re serving or practising. Then on the last one, usually the coach will go or I will go, ‘This is match point, this is the last one.’ Normally in practise if I miss it, I keep going until I make it, but you don’t get that luxury in such situations as the final.”
Discussing the emotions she felt when she won, Emma admitted: “There were a lot of emotions just straightaway, you can’t really comprehend what has happened. It didn’t sink in for a long, long time - I think only in the last few days when I was in New York and when I just got home, then I really realised what kind of happened.”
And on how she managed to stay so stress-free throughout the match, Emma suggested: “I think that the scores from my matches throughout the tournament were - I didn’t drop a set - but in all of those sets I think there were moments where I could have easily lost a set, because the margins are so fine and even if the score says one thing, they’re long games and specific points in long moments can determine a set and a match. So all of those matches I was playing great players and facing adversity in each one, but I managed to come through that in straight sets but it definitely wasn’t straightforward as the scores suggest.”
She also spoke about having her return flight booked well before the final: “I’m pretty sure I had mine booked at the end of qualifiers, but I know for sure that my team had it booked for two days after. They were pushing it back every round, they were calling the travel agents… by the end, I’m pretty sure the travel agent recognised the number every time they called and knew what was going to happen!”
Having won the tournament, Emma was awarded with £1.8 million in prize money. She commented: “No, I haven’t done anything or bought anything yet. I know that tennis is an extremely expensive sport from everything I’ve played in, from when I've travelled from a young age. There are a lot of expenses, so [it will] probably go towards that, but then I don’t really think of the money-side of it, I just love competing. But there are a lot of taxes and expenses.”
Ben encouraged her to “stop being so sensible!” and asked if she had looked at her bank account yet?
To which she responded: “No, I haven’t logged on, I haven’t done anything. I’ve just been at home or been in the moment. I haven’t even thought about that, to be honest.”
On attending The Met Gala, she exclaimed: “I had no idea I was going, I found out the night before and it was obviously amazing, I was so grateful to get the opportunity to go. It’s such a great artistic event and everything was set in place perfectly. The performances were amazing to watch live and I had an amazing time there.
“I managed to see Lewis Hamilton, which was really cool, because I’m a Motocross fan and Formula 1 so it was a really cool experience overall.”
But she explained that she didn’t take any selfies: “My phone was in my bag the whole time, I didn’t take it out once.” And on people wanting selfies with her, she said: “I think the invite list is a lot more significant than myself.” To which Kate and Ben disagreed.
Since winning she has also been sent a letter from The Queen: “It was absolutely amazing to receive a letter from Her Majesty. I had no idea it was coming and when I was reading it I was a bit in shock that The Queen was following and I think it was such a great feat for two teenagers to play in the final, but also for British tennis. I’m really honoured and grateful for that.”
And on her call from Boris: “It was really nice of him and he congratulated me, but then we also spoke about how we both wanted to inspire more kids in grassroots tennis and get more young children involved, and hopefully my win can inspire some young kids and also show that you can live a normal life and achieve great things.”
She joked: “I didn’t just pick my phone up and say, ‘Hello, who is this?’”
On singing Sweet Caroline when she won, Emma explained: “I didn’t know it was coming at all and when it did it was such a great shock and I was loving it in the moment and singing along. Seeing all of the Brits and the Union Jacks in the crowd. Also, being part of the moment and sharing this experience was a really nice thing to witness. And on the way back to the hotel from the courts in the end we had a bit of a karaoke bus going where we replayed ‘Sweet Caroline’ and also ‘Mr Brightside’ for a singalong.
On the trophy she revealed: “I actually don’t get the real trophy, I actually get a smaller replica and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. It’s not the real thing unfortunately.”
Emma explained how she was six or seven when she won her first trophy: “Some young tournaments. I played all of the LTA events and I went through the LTA system up the ranks, climbing each ladder. And so I just want to mention how much the LTA has supported me throughout my whole journey. They really took me in under their wing from a young age and this wouldn’t be possible without their support that I received.”
And on winning again next year, Emma modestly stated: “Hopefully, we’ll see about that.”
When Ben concluded by mentioning that Kate couldn’t book a tennis court to payon in her local area, Emma responded with “Can I say, I can’t get a tennis court either, I still can’t get a court…!”
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