Emma Raducanu’s success ‘a fantastic story’ and ‘inspirational’, says Anne Keothavong
Great Britain Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong admits Emma Raducanu’s US Open title run “caught the whole of tennis by surprise” and hopes her success will continue to inspire more children to take up the sport.
Raducanu stunned the sporting world in September last year when she became the first qualifier to lift a Grand Slam trophy – winning 10 matches en route to securing the US Open title.
The 19-year-old will make her Billie Jean King Cup debut for Great Britain this weekend against the Czech Republic and Keothavong spoke about the “fantastic story”.
“We’ve all known she’s a great talent. She had a promising career ahead of her but I don’t think anyone expected her to do what she did in New York so soon,” she told Sky Sports.
“I think it caught the whole of tennis by surprise and it’s something that is a fantastic story and one that we should continue to celebrate because I’m not sure we’ll see anything like that happen ever again.”
There has been a big increase in interest in tennis on and off court on the back of the teenager’s triumph at Flushing Meadows while the Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans continue to fly the flag on the men’s side.
Meanwhile, lower down the ranks and 14-year-old Mimi Xu won the LTA Under-18 Junior National Championships to earn herself a wildcard into the Wimbledon qualifying draw.
Keothavong said: “What’s happening on the men’s side is brilliant and Emma’s success on the women’s side has been inspirational.
“Tennis is more popular now than ever and hopefully there will be more young kids who will be inspired by the success of top British tennis players and we’ll have a greater pool of talent to choose from in the future.”
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