Clearly, she has talent. She also has an enviable work ethic, drive, ambition, desire, focus - and the list goes on. But aside from that, her parents’ support has been key to her success by all accounts.
Ian Raducanu, her Romanian father, has been described as “unorthodox” in his approach and even “a bit out there”. Most significantly, he hired different coaches for different aspects of her game. Typically, a player at her stage who is becoming established, will have one all-rounder coach, but Ian was gathering information on technique from different sources. “He is happy to think outside the box. As a coach, he challenges you – his view is the coach does not necessarily know everything”, remarks one coach.
It also helps that Emma, who just achieved an A* in Maths and an A in Economics at ‘A’ Level, is quick to pick up information, as one of her coaches describes: “The unique thing about Emma is that you teach her something, she gets it, and then it’s there. With most players - even top-10 players - you drag them up to a standard on a particular skill, and then when you start the next session it has slipped back again. Her ability to learn and retain new information is uncanny”.
Renee Raducanu, Emma’s mother, is known as the “no-nonsense” parent. “My mum comes from a Chinese background; they have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture”.
“They have been pushy to an extent,” says Emma about her parents. “Not just in tennis but in everything. I think that I’ve developed that mentality since a young age”. They pushed Emma and they had high expectations. “When I was younger, I would get quite upset and emotional on the court, and I got that knocked out of me pretty quickly”.