Now comes hard part for champ Raducanu

Now comes hard part for champ Raducanu

Some may regard the British reaction to the stunning, success of Emma Raducanu as being a bit over the top … and they would be partly right.

But the British can be forgiven a little because it really has been such a long time since they tasted any success in women's tennis -- 44 years to be exact.

Part of the overwhelming reaction can be explained by it being all so sudden and totally unexpected.

It also came from a most unlikely source, an 18-year-old woman born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother, who was aged two when the family moved to England, settling in Bromley.

Before she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon earlier this year, ranked 366th in the world, very few people had heard of her.

After last week's success she is ranked 23rd and world famous.

She was the 400-1 qualifier ranked 150th who won the US Open without dropping a set. How can you beat that?

Let's not forget her opponent in the final, 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez who also has a great future.

Like Raducanu, she was born in Canada with her father from Ecuador and mother a Filipina.

She pushed Raducanu all the way and the 6-4, 6-3scoreline did not fully reflect the closeness of the match.

Apart from Raducanu's tennis skills, much of the teenager's appeal is that she comes across as a very natural person, unaffected by the sudden fame and all the razzamatazz going on around her.

She puts this down to her mum and dad.

"I think the calmness and mental depth come from my parents," she said.

Owing to travel restrictions they could not be in New York, but Emma called them after her victory.

"They were just so happy and proud of me," she said.

She added: "I'm ready for anything. I don't feel any pressure. I'm just having a free swing at anything that comes my way".

She displayed that free spirit by sending a message in Mandarin to the Chinese people thanking them for their support.

This refreshingly carefree attitude is going to be severely tested in the days to come as she comes to terms with almost instant stardom and the baggage that goes with it.

It will be a huge test of her mental strength although she looks to have the fortitude to handle it.

What happened to Naomi Osaka is a cautionary reminder of the price of fame.

The distractions can be enormous. Raducanu has already appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine and in assorted American TV talk shows.

She suddenly gets invited to everything. Everyone wants a piece of her.

Raducanu got a taste of what's in store from the British newspaper headlines.

"A Superstar is Born" proclaimed the Daily Mail, calling her success "one of Britain's greatest sporting victories."

The Mirror settled for "History Maker."

Indeed "historic" made regular appearances in headlines.

The following day about every English national newspaper including the Times and the Guardian followed up with huge photos of the beaming champion and speculation that she would receive New Year's honours for her efforts, or as the Mail headlined it "Now for The Gong, Emma!"

After all, she was congratulated by Queen Elizabeth on her "remarkable achievement" and the inspiration she had given to youngsters.

There was inevitably also much emphasis on the financial rewards awaiting Raducanu with speculation that she could become the first British billion-dollar sports star.

Raducanu has emphasised how important her "team" have become and they will be have to be very alert in the coming weeks with all the distractions.

The team will become particularly important when she suffers a poor performance.

British women's tennis has been in dire straits for many decades and most fans would find it hard to name the leading players since Virginia Wade, apart from Heather Watson and current No.1 Johanna Konta.

Wade was by far the most successful British female player having won three Grand Slams -- the US Open (1968), Australian Open (1972) and Wimbledon (1977).

So what did Wade think of the youngster's performance?

"It was just exceptional," she said.

But she warned that handling the sudden fame will be a challenge.

"She's got to have very good advice on that," Wade said.

A parting message from former British No.1 Tim Henman who was courtside during Raducanu's triumph.

"This is not some flash-in-the-pan fairytale," he said. "It is going to be hell of a ride".

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