Emma Raducanu’s former coach says he is ‘immensely proud’
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The 18-year-old went from relative obscurity to global superstar yesterday as she became the first female Brit to win a gram slam in 44 years. Even more remarkably, Raducanu didn’t drop a set in a tournament she had enter via qualifying because her seeding was so low.
Since romping home to victory, the A-level student’s heritage has become a topic of conversation.
Despite spending the vast majority of her life in Bromley, southeast London, Raducanu was born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother.
This, coupled with the fact that she beat Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final, appears to have infuriated some in the North American country.
Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno wrote: “The whooping Brits will be insufferable, basking in the glory of their first female Grand Slam champion in 44 years.
“You know, though, Raducanu, who was born in Toronto two months after [Leylah] Fernandez was born in Montreal, has a Canadian passport and dual citizenship.
“Canada could, if we wanted to be really mingy about it, claim Raducanu as our own, at the very least get all co-proprietary about it.
“Nah. We’ll stick with Fernandez and revel in a marvellous tournament that ended one stride short of the triumphant finish line.”
The Romanian press was far more respectful – admitting that the only thing they can claim is from their country “without hesitation” is her name.
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Writing on the country’s Digi 24 website, Christian Poepscu said: “It doesn’t make sense to claim her as ‘ours’. She grew up in other countries, not ours.
“The fact that her father is Romanian is a genetic issue, but we cannot say that she is ours.
“But we can still love her! Nobody can stop us!”
In America, the Washington post said the background of the two finalists — both born in Canada to immigrant parents — made the story all the more compelling.
“As cheering fans of each proudly held aloft British and Canadian flags in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Raducanu and Fernandez formed a powerful tableau of immigrant families seeking an opportunity to build a better life for their children,” the paper wrote.
And even the French couldn’t help falling in love with the rising British star.
Le Monde reported: “A star is born at Flushing Meadows who nobody saw coming, except perhaps those who remember that at Wimbledon this summer she had made the fourth round where she had to give up, suffocated by the scale of what was at stake, the victim of respiratory problems.
“This time, it was she who took the breath away around her.”
In Spain, El Pais commented that she may have filled the UK’s need for a new tennis star as Andy Murray’s career enters its twilight years.
An editorial said: “Women’s tennis and British tennis, the latter lacking in heroes, celebrate and welcome this youthful lightning bolt named Emma Raducanu.
“Until a little more than two months ago, she had a year and a half without competing and she had played only one match in the elite, in Nottingham.
“Back then she was still glued to her books, combining her sporting development with her studies. Now she enters history.
“From now on she is unique: from the qualifiers to the trophy it has been an immaculate ride.”
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