Tennis star Emma Raducanu set to join Queen’s Club tradition

Dubai-born tennis player Emma Raducanu will join other British sporting heroes when the country hosts the first-ever Queen’s Cup on the Gold Coast this August. A rising star in the women’s game, Raducanu has…

Tennis star Emma Raducanu set to join Queen's Club tradition

Dubai-born tennis player Emma Raducanu will join other British sporting heroes when the country hosts the first-ever Queen’s Cup on the Gold Coast this August.

A rising star in the women’s game, Raducanu has climbed up the rankings with wins in as many as six tournaments in the past year.

She finished sixth in the singles competition at the ITF Junior Tennis Championships in Reno last July, then made the trip up to Copenhagen for the 2011 ITF World Under-18 Championships.

During the two-week tournament in Las Vegas, her tennis played a prominent role: she claimed a silver medal in doubles alongside teammate Tara Bognar.

Her next major tournament was her eighth, at the 2011 US Girls’ Under-17 Championship in California, where she made it all the way to the quarterfinals in the singles and doubles play before being knocked out in straight sets.

She then made the trip to Thousand Oaks, California for the 2012 ITF World Championships in both the singles and doubles, being knocked out in the quarterfinals by Canadian teenager Madeleine Beck in both rounds.

Still on the rise, Raducanu then traveled to France for the 2013 French Junior Open in Nice, where she reached the semi-finals in both singles and doubles play. That’s where she knocked out top seeds Svetlana Kuznetsova and Stefanie Voegele and ultimately fell to the eventual champ Victoria Azarenka.

Raducanu then made the trip to Melbourne to compete in the 2013 Australian Junior Championships, where she made it all the way to the quarterfinals in the singles.

The 19-year-old has continued to rise through the ranks and reached her first WTA main draw appearance in January of this year in Mallorca, where she lost in the opening round to former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

She won her second straight tournament in Adelaide in April and two months later returned to England, where she defeated Canadian twins Max and Christina Garcia-Lopez to claim her first win of the 2017 season at the Aegon International tournament at Eastbourne.

This led to her first top-20 world ranking in the Women’s Singles Standing (for one week), and a fourth-round finish at the Wimbledon Grand Slam.

Not an unsurprising feat, given that Raducanu’s older sister Anna is a former world number 100 singles player who is now 26th in the rankings.

The eldest of three, Emma graduated from St. Albans School in 2010 before achieving her degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Leeds Metropolitan University.

In 2010 she won the singles title at the London Junior Tennis Championships, played alongside Elena Baltacha. She received a wild card entry into the 2012 ITF Girls’ U-18 Open and reached the quarterfinals, and was eighth in the doubles before being knocked out by China’s Zhang Shuai.

In 2013 she was again a wild card entry at Wimbledon in the same year and, after reaching the fourth round for the second year running, made the last eight in the doubles before being knocked out in the quarterfinals by China’s Wu Rongjie.

She then reached the semi-finals of the Sydney International.

At this point in 2015, Emma Raducanu made her professional debut, which was not without incident. She was forced to withdraw from her first tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, which she won with doubles partner Nina Bratchikova, after suffering from a wrist injury.

She returned to action in the following week’s International Tennis Federation Junior Championship in Indian Wells, California, where she made it to the quarterfinals.

However, she lost to Francesca Schiavone in the quarterfinals of that tournament before failing to reach the semifinals at the Australian Open.

At the following year’s French Open, she dropped out of the draw after just one round.

Raducanu has since made steady progress, climbing up the rankings, and is now ranked 107 in the world, good enough for her to be the first Italian player to break into the top 100.

Next up for the athlete is the inaugural Queen’s Cup Tennis Tournament on the Gold Coast, Australia on August 14-18.

Report from Alison Smith & Barbara Nero

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