Kate Middleton stuns as she joins Emma Raducanu for doubles
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Emma Raducanu, 18, made history this year when she became the first British woman to lift a major tennis trophy in 44 years, after winning the women’s singles at the US Open. Following her incredible success, she is now one the most sought after sportspeople that sponsors are eager to work with, something Virginia Wade worried could pose challenges for the teenager.
They all desperately want to beat her
The tennis legend, now 76, won at Wimbledon in 1977.
She was the first British female to win the ladies singles championship in eight years and the last to win since.
Wade was in attendance when Raducanu was thrust into the limelight at this year’s Wimbledon.
Despite being ranked 338 in the world, she reached the fourth round but was forced to withdraw due to breathing difficulties, saying at the time that the “whole experience caught up with me”.
“When people were ready to pick on her because she didn’t finish the match [against the Australian player Ajla Tomljanovic], I absolutely wasn’t because those things can happen,” she said.
Throughly impressed with the the 18-year-old’s ability, Wade is beyond proud of what she accomplished.
But the tennis pro revealed she has become the target everyone wants to beat.”
She said in a new interview: “There are an awful lot of very good players out there and she’s got a target on her now.
“They all desperately want to beat her.”
Raducanu took home a cheque for $2.5million following her big win, and soon after signed a sponsorship deal to become a face of Dior.
“Getting all these endorsements can turn these young players’ heads,” Wade sighed.
“You’ve got to remember you got [deals] because you’re a good tennis player, and not for any other reason.
“So you’d better stay being a good tennis player!”
And when it comes to modelling, Wade urged on the side of caution: “You want to be concentrating on tennis and not worrying about looking perfect.”
But despite such distractions, she said Raducanu has what it takes to make it all the way.
She told Radio Times: “She’s very smart, intelligent, well-balanced, serious. “She really applies herself. She problem-solves on the court.”
Wade added: “We don’t need to expect anything spectacular in the next few years. Give her a couple of good, steady, learning years.”
Raducanu is also in the running to win Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday 19 December.
If she is successful, she could become one of only 14 women to do so since the award’s inception in 1954.
Virginia’s full interview is available Raf now in Radio Times Christmas Issue.
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