Emma Raducanu is the breakout star of the 2021 Wimbledon tennis tournament. The Briton started playing tennis aged five and made her WTA main-draw debut in mid-2021. She earned a main-draw wildcard to participate in Wimbledon, where she is making her Slam debut. No one expected Raducanu to advance as far as she has in the tournament.
Following victories over Vitalia Diatchenko and Marketa Vondrousova, Emma became the youngest woman to reach the third round since Elena Baltacha in 2002. After defeating Sorana Cirstea to advance to the fourth round, Emma became the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the open era.
Emma’s parents prioritized Emma’s education over her tennis career
Emma was born on 13th November 2002 in Toronto, Canada, to a Chinese mother and a Romanian father. The family moved to London when she was two.
Raducanu displayed obvious talent when she picked up the racquet at the age of five. She advanced rapidly, but her parents held her back as they insisted that she focus on her education. During the pandemic, Emma’s parents prevented her from flying to tournaments even when the government allowed people to travel.
They insisted that she focus on her education to give her a place to land if an untimely injury ended her tennis career prematurely. Emma responded by delivering on the tennis court and in class, where her parents expected her to achieve high grades.
Emma has nothing but praise for her parents. “On my mum, she’s always instilled a lot of discipline and respect for other people into me,” Emma said. “I think having parents like I do, they always push me. They have high expectations. I’ve always tried to live up to that. And I hope I did them proud this week.”
Emma maintains strong connections to her parents’ roots
“London, Toronto, Bucharest, Shenyang” reads Emma’s Twitter bio referencing her hometown, birthplace, and her parents’ hometowns.
Emma maintains close ties to Bucharest and Shenyang. She visits her paternal grandmother twice a year and is a huge fan of her cooking. Videos taken years apart prove that Emma frequents China and was at the Chinese Tennis Academy in Nanjing in 2018. Emma can also speak Mandarin.
“I think it’s definitely helped me, the mentality that both of them bring,” Emma said. “They both come from very hard-working countries.”