A t a step in the next days, Emma Raducanu will return home with the US Open trophy tidy, a Grand Slam winner at the age of 18. With a whistle-stop media engagement series, which included a visit to the New York Stock Exchange, she was congratulated by the Queen and in parliament and her breathtaking triumph in New York captured her imagination. 'one nation, dominated the news on TV and radio. It 's a life changing moment for Raducanu and British tennis, it 'sa huge opportunity.
In the wake of its incredible success, Raducanu was quick to thank many people involved in its development, from Matt James, the coach who has helped her the most in recent years at Bromley, to the support of his family, who moved to Great Breedtagne when she was old. two and who instilled the work ethic, drive and determination to accompany his innate talent.
She also thanked the work of the UK tennis governing body, LTA, a much maligned organization, especially in recent years. While the question of whether systems can create champions will still be debated, as the recipient of an annual Wimbledon surplus that brought in £ 45.7million last year, the LTA is under scrutiny. close for how he spends his money.
However, in Raducanu's case, the LTA deserves some credit. After moving away from a single program in recent years, it has become more flexible to the needs of players. In 2018, Raducanu joined the Pro Scholarship Program (PSP), "offered to players between the ages of 16 and 24 who aret the best chance of reaching the top 100 ATP / WTA in singles within five years. "It gives them the support they need, including coaching, access to scientific and medical services and wildcards for the tournaments.
"We are investing in players for a period of five years, " Iain Bates, LTA Women's Tennis Manager said at the Guardian. “The goal is to try to give people the security of this period, but also to make it over, where players don't become dependent on the LTA for their entire careers. It is clear where this support begins and ends. I think this is an important message to us in the way we support these players.
"For Emma, we were able to leverage A guy called Matt James. He did a lot of really hard work at 16 and 17, that kind of training stage, supporting Emma through her school years. He was so flexible there.when he was in Bromley [where Raducanu trained], was at the NTC [National Training Center], traveled with her, did all types of tough sites that are really necessary for a player of this age.
"With the scholarship program, what we are trying to do is say that you have a choice and we try to be flexible on what you think is the right setup for you as a person. Because tennis is so individual, it is quite difficult to find a unique approach, it is is why we have the opportunity to work at your place with your own trainer. We will use investment funds to help support this. You can access scientific and medical services.
" What is exceptional is that she managed to break through so quickly. Especially after not having huge amounts of tennis duri ng periods of verrtoiling due to challenges with the schedule for a 350 rated player. Combining education with a budding professional career, some worries about travel during a pandemic, how quickly she was able to adjust and adjust. improving is quite remarkable. "
Forward Andy Murray, who won his first major US Open title in 2012 but trained outside the LTA for much of her junior career, Britain had endured 77 years without a man grand slam champion. Raducanu is Britain's first female to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977. When Murray won Wimbledon in 2013, the hope was that it would lead to a windfall for tennis in Britain; instead, the participation figuresipation fell between 2016 and 2020, according to Sport England.
Although it has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic, Judy Murray, who has criticized the 'inability to capitalize on the success of his two sons, again this week lamented the lack of investment in public tennis courts in Scotland.
Scott Lloyd , who became the LTA 's general manager in 2017, this week presented plans to revamp local park courts. Lloyd wants a government investment of between £ 15million and £ 20million, which he told The Guardian would put 40% back into service, or a total of 1,800 of UK park courts . Speaking directly to the central government, he said, would help do so and make the courts available at low cost. "Opening up public facilities to our people is essential to the growth of tennis, to the growththis is our sport "he said.
Bates said he probably would have agreed to have six players in qualifying and three qualified for the main draw. Raducanu's success was a fantastic surprise; now the hope is that the data it inspires both its peers and the next generation. The required infrastructure, it seems, is there.
"There 's no little effort here " said Lloyd. "Anyone who have already worked with her know that she has always been a special talent. But this support network, diligence, focus and professionalism took a long time. "