“I’ve never done any normal teenage things,” says Emma Raducanu as she opened up on the sacrifices she has made to forge a career in tennis. Raducanu, still only 20, admitted she has a tendency to “completely forget about my achievements” in the relentless cycle of tournaments and off-court commitments. But in a nod to her critics, she says she has “done pretty well compared to most teenagers”.
Emma Raducanu feels she has “done pretty well compared to most teenagers”, as she opened up about the sacrifices it has taken to forge her career in tennis.
Raducanu, who received her MBE from King Charles III this week for her services to the game, is currently preparing for the 2023 season, in a bid to make it a more successful one than last year, where she struggled with injury and losses of form.
It all seems a long time since her stunning US Open win in 2021, when she came all the way through qualifying to win her first major – the first male or female player ever to do so.
Reflecting on that win, and what her rapid rise has meant for her life, Raducanu – in an interview with Grazia – said: “[Winning the US Open] wasn’t a big deal at all for my family – it was just like a normal Friday or Saturday night.
“I’ve never gone out. I’ve never done any normal teenage things.
“Between training and the travel, [the lifestyle] takes some getting used to, but I like to be on my own and it’s always about the bigger picture.
“In my career, I’ve done pretty well compared to most teenagers.
“Hopefully, I’ll be playing throughout my twenties and into my thirties – I’m looking forward to putting in a good shift.”
Fortunately for Raducanu, she is not the first person to blaze a trail for British tennis, and she revealed how Andy Murray – her predecessor as the most high-profile Brit – has been a valuable sounding board for her.
“[In tennis] it could look like it’s all going down, down, down and just not getting any better,” she said. “But it can all change so fast.
“Just one match can have a big influence on your confidence and once you have confidence and the momentum comes, you feel like you can’t lose.
“It’s a very individual sport – people are friendly but it’s difficult to be really close with those you’re competing with.
“Andy Murray is so good to talk to because he’s been through pretty much what I’ve been going through.
“I have always looked up to him and watched him winning his first Wimbledon and the Olympics.”
Raducanu has not been insulated from the perils of acquiring fame, admitting she can feel the pressure on tennis’ relentless global treadmill.
“I can get really caught up in the moment and completely forget about any of my achievements or any of the good, positive sides,” she said.
“You’re always thinking about what you could be doing next and what’s coming next.”
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