‘Such a big inspiration’: Emma Raducanu praises Tim Henman

US Open winner credits her support team and says former British No 1 gave her belief and focus

Following her triumph at the US Open, Emma Raducanu credited the retired British tennis player Tim Henman for giving her “belief that I could actually do it”.

Henman, who has been working for Amazon Prime in the US, has often been seen offering words of comfort and support to the 18-year-old.

“It means so much to have Virginia [Wade, former British pro] here and also Tim,” Raducanu said before being handed the trophy yesterday by the American former world No 1 Billie Jean King.

“Just to have such British legends and icons for me to follow in their footsteps, it definitely helps and gave me the belief that I could actually do it,” she said.

Her parents, Ian and Renee, were unable to be present in New York, due to Covid-19 rules that require a special exemption visa.

However, Raducanu has had support from a trusted team, including her coach for the weeks running up to the US Open, Andrew Richardson, a close friend of Henman’s who was best man at his wedding to Lucy Heald in 1999.

Richardson, whom Raducanu describes as “a very calming character”, was brought in after Raducanu faced criticism earlier this year when she withdrew from Wimbledon with breathing difficulties, ceding the match to her Australian opponent Ajla Tomljanovic.

“I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me,” she said at the time.

Though he never reached a grand slam final during his own tennis career, Henman, 47, knows a thing or two about pressure, having been the UK No 1 throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.

After beating Maria Sakkari in the semi-final, Raducanu said: “Tim is honestly such a big inspiration. He has been helping me to treat one point at a time.

“You can’t get ahead of yourself and just stay present. Today I wasn’t thinking about anyone else except for myself.”

Contributor

Robyn Vinter

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Emma Raducanu puts success down to ‘very hard-to-please parents’
Eighteen-year-old US Open winner says upbringing has given her mental strength to succeed

Sean Ingle Chief sports reporter

13, Sep, 2021 @4:53 PM

Article image
‘This girl means serious business’: the making of Emma Raducanu
Even from a young age, those around the latest British tennis star suspected she had something special

Tumaini Carayol

10, Sep, 2021 @7:00 PM

Article image
Emma Raducanu plays Duchess of Cambridge in homecoming event
Tennis queen trades forehands with duchess at friendly event to celebrate Raducanu’s US Open Victory

Sean Ingle Chief sports reporter

24, Sep, 2021 @3:57 PM

Article image
Emma Raducanu: US Open winner could become Britain’s first billion-dollar sport star
PR experts agree the champion is a marketer’s dream – with strongly engaged online fans and talent and charisma to burn

Sean Ingle Chief sports reporter

13, Sep, 2021 @6:40 AM

Article image
Raducanu set for global media stardom, say UK marketing experts
Tennis star has the right ingredients to attract billion-dollar sponsorship – but must keep winning

Mark Sweney and Caroline Davies

10, Sep, 2021 @3:27 PM

Article image
Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez usher in dynamic new era | Tumaini Carayol
Teenagers seemed to have been muscled out before the extraordinary form shown by the two youngsters at the US Open

Tumaini Carayol

11, Sep, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
Emma Raducanu’s US Open heroics inspire young British players
New star of British tennis has long been looked up to by talents such as 14-year-old Lois Newberry

Kevin Rawlinson

09, Sep, 2021 @5:33 PM

Article image
Emma Raducanu enjoying the moment before US Open quarter-final | Tumaini Carayol
Emma Raducanu has said she is ‘super-appreciative of the moment’ as the 18-year-old Briton prepares to face Belinda Bencic in the US Open quarter-finals

Tumaini Carayol

08, Sep, 2021 @7:00 AM

Article image
Must Emma Raducanu become a brand? Let’s just enjoy her genius | Adrian Chiles
Those who obsess about the commercial potential of the US Open tennis champion are missing the wood for the trees, writes Adrian Chiles

Adrian Chiles

16, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
Emma Raducanu overcomes early nerves to extend fairytale of New York | Bryan Armen Graham
Emma Raducanu was meant to have met her match in Belinda Bencic but she dismantled the Swiss in a masterclass

Bryan Armen Graham at Flushing Meadows

08, Sep, 2021 @7:06 PM