Emma Raducanu was greeted by her proud father outside her Bromley home today – after her parents were stopped from seeing her US Open triumph in New York because of Covid travel restrictions.
Ian, the motor behind Emma’s tennis drive, lifted her arm victoriously aloft and then hugged his 18-year-old daughter – but her mother Renee did not come out to pose with the sports superstar.
Emma returned to her Kent home five days after making sporting history by winning the US Open – the first British woman to win a major title for 44 years since Virginia Wade lifted the Wimbledon trophy in 1977. She is also the first qualifier in history to lift a grand slam.
The property is on a suburban cul-de-sac where she rallied with her father during lockdown as she studied for her A-Levels.
Emma told reporters outside her home: ‘It’s a great feeling to be home. I’ve been away for seven weeks so it’s nice to be back. It was nice [to hug her parents]. Nice to see them again.
The smiling tennis star also said she was looking forward to relaxing but hasn’t thought about any parties or reunions with friends. She said: ‘I haven’t thought of anything [going forward]. I’m just enjoying it and relaxing and recovering. We will make some plans.’
Her proud father said he was relieved to have her home and happily hugged Emma as they posed for photographers outside the family property. Her mother was also thought to have been at home, although she wasn’t seen in photos.
Emma arrived in a black Range Rover, which followed by another filled with suited security guards.
The reunion comes after it emerged Emma trademarked her name within hours of her US Open win in her first steps to becoming the ‘first billion-dollar sports woman’.
UK-based lawyer Anthony Brierley applied to safeguard the words ‘Emma Raducanu’, ‘Emma’ and ‘Raducanu’ shortly after the 18-year-old’s victory, reports The Sun.
Emma, who has been heralded as a ‘sponsor’s dream’, is on course to become the highest earning female sports star of all time. She banked a cheque for £1.8million ($2.5million) – over eight times her total previous career earnings – for her record-breaking win on Saturday. Agents have now predicted that top brands will be ‘knocking down Emma’s door’ with endorsement offers worth tens of millions of pounds.
It was also reported that the teenager laid the groundwork for her potential earnings aged 17, registering Harbour 6 Limited to manage her finances.
Her return home comes after a whirlwind few days following her incredible triumph in New York. Emma was seen enjoying Times Square with her close friend Benjamin Heynold, 19, who hugged her in front of one of her new Nike billboards.
The teenager also wowed at the Met Gala before her stay in The Big Apple ended with a visit to the New York Stock Exchange. Her agent said the visit was on her ‘bucket list’ after getting an A* in maths and an A in economics in her A-levels this summer.
Emma, whose parents both work in the City of London as currency market traders, has admitted to still being on ‘cloud nine’ after her stunning victory and plans a few days of rest before she is back playing tennis again.
However, she also shared her desire to get back on the court and is expected to appear at BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells next month.
She said: ‘I have a few days’ rest and recovery (coming up), I think needed after the last seven weeks but then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.’
US Open Winner Emma Raducanu with father Ian after arriving back at the family home in Bromley this morning
Emma laughs with her dad – who was unable to be in NYC because of covid travel restrictions
Emma was last seen at her New York hotel yesterday and flew overnight to London
US Open Winner Emma Raducanu arrives back at the family home this morning with her bags – including her tennis equipment – carried in
Her father was pictured smiling broadly with the young tennis star as she arrived home with luggage in tow this morning
Raducanu’s home in a cul-de-sac in Bromley, south-east London
Emma’s agent Chris Helliar leaves the family house this morning after the US Open winner returned home and was reunited with her parents
The 18-year-old defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday to become Great Britain’s first female grand slam winner in 44 years.
It was only Raducanu’s second appearance at a major and the new world number 23 has made headlines across the globe, appeared on various TV channels in the United States and she also attended the Met Gala on Monday in a monochrome Chanel ensemble.
Wearing all black to the NYSE, Emma was with her agent Chris Helliar, the man from IMG tasked with helping her towards becoming a $1billion brand.
MailOnline also revealed she has been spending time with old friend and former British tennis protege Benjamin who is studying in the New York and was seen hugging her in front of one of her new Nike billboards in Times Square.
On Tuesday she ticked off another long-term aspiration when she visited Wall Street. ‘I am on cloud nine but so excited to be here on New York Stock Exchange. It was one of the places on my bucket list before leaving New York and I’m just so excited and grateful to everyone who made this possible,’ Raducanu told CNBC’s Closing Bell programme.
‘I have a few days’ rest and recovery (coming up), I think needed after the last seven weeks but then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.’
Jonathan Shalit, who landed lucrative deals for Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and singer and TV host Myleene Klass, says Emma could become the first billion dollar female sports star.
The chairman of InterTalent predicts Emma’s off court earnings will swiftly surpass those of Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka and US legend Serena Williams – the world’s two highest paid female athletes last year.
She is already managed by Max Eisenbud, vice-president of tennis at entertainment giant IMG and one of the most powerful agents in sport.
Emma Raducanu, who won the U.S. Open tennis women’s singles title last weekend, visits the New York Stock Exchange and tours the trading floor last night hours after attending the Met Ball
Miss Raducanu says she was desperate to visit after getting an interest in finance from her trader parents and pursuing maths and economics at A-level
Emma Raducanu is spotted in New York City dressed in black as she takes a walk with her sports agent, Chris Helliar, a former professional tennis player
Emma wore all black as she walked through Manhattan 72 hours after her grand slam win
Following her victory at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, Miss Raducanu, 18, posed with her old pal Benjamin Heynold for a photo beneath a Manhattan billboard celebrating the city’s new Grand Slam star
And Emma’s multi-cultural background, being half-Chinese and fluent in Mandarin, is seen as a big part of her landing some huge deals.
Mr Shalit said: ‘In the space of a week, Emma has become a global phenomenon.
‘I already have her down to become the first US$100 million British female sports star.
‘And if she continues on her current trajectory, she will be worth US$1 billion and be the biggest female sports star in the world.’
Emma was two-years-old when her Romanian father Ian and Chinese mother Renee moved the family to the UK.
Emma counts her agent Chris as amongst her inner circle of four closest aides
Mr Shalit said: ‘Emma is a sponsor’s dream. She is a mix of Romania, China, Britain and Canada. She is 18 and she is a gorgeous young woman.
‘She is in a gladiatorial individual sport, where she goes in armed only with a tennis racquet.
‘She was a qualifier in the US and had to get through two competitions. It is quite staggering.’
Mr Shalit added that Emma’s tearful fourth round summer exit from Wimbledon after suffering breathing difficulties only adds to her public appeal.
Raducanu only completed her A-levels earlier in the summer, achieving A* in mathematics and an A in economics at Newstead Wood School in Orpington.
The teenager revealed she always had a big interest in the New York Stock Exchange, adding: ‘It is something I have been studying at school, in my A-levels. I just always had a keen interest. My parents were both in finance and to see it live is incredible.’
He said: ‘She has had to overcome adversity after her stumble at Wimbledon. She has the perfect human interest story. Everything about Emma is the perfect storm.
‘Emma comes along at a unique time in our history during the pandemic when people want to feel positivity and happiness.
‘She represents that positivity and is someone we can all celebrate.’
Emma already has a clothing and shoe deal with Nike and racquet tie-up with Wilson and she appears in the current edition of Vogue magazine.
Her Instagram followers have trebled to 1.2million since she started out as a US Open qualifier three weeks ago.
Super agent Mr Eisenbud also looks after Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, Maria Sharapova and a host of other tennis aces.
His negotiations for former world No1 Sharapova, who won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004, helped her earn £234million on and off court by the time she retired last year.
Sharapova, now 34, was the top-paid female athlete for 11 years straight and had deals with Land Rover, Tag Heuer watches, Pepsi, Sony, Motorola and Canon.
Weeks after Raducanu sat her exams, the Toronto-born ace shone at Wimbledon, making the fourth round in impressive fashion before she was forced to retire from her last-16 match with Ajla Tomljanovic on Centre Court owing to breathing difficulties.
Miss Raducanu wore a monochrome Chanel ensemble to the 2021 Met Gala on Monday – before a little sleep and heading to the NYSE
John McEnroe, a three-time winner at the All England Club, said at the time he felt the occasion ‘got a little bit too much’ for the wildcard and linked it to Naomi Osaka’s mental health difficulties.
Raducanu responded emphatically on court in America and showed her newly improved physicality by not dropping a set in Flushing Meadows, having had to come through qualifying to make the main draw.
Asked in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour what he meant by his comments back in July, McEnroe said: ‘I meant exactly what I said.
‘I tried to relate it in a small way to my experience when I first went to Wimbledon, also at 18, and managed to qualify, like Emma did, get through to the semis.
‘She did better than I did. I played Jimmy Connors, I hadn’t been on the Centre Court and I remember my legs shaking, feeling totally overwhelmed by the experience and almost happy that I didn’t win.
‘Subsequently I went to Stanford for a year and had some time to sort of regroup mentally and prepare for the rigours of the tour.
‘There’s a lot of great upsides, but there’s also pressure you put on yourself and expectations that others put on you.’
McEnroe was criticised heavily at the time for his comments, but insisted that ‘compared to a lot of other things that I have said in the past, that was about, to me, as vanilla as they come’ and stressed: ‘I was very supportive of her, I thought, at the time.’
He added: ‘More importantly than what I said, I think, is how she handled it moving forward, because I’m sure there was a lot of concern in the British tennis association, along with people in her family and the people that work with her, how is she going to be able to handle this sort of newfound fame?
‘I don’t think you could possibly do it any better than she did it. Win the US Open? Are you kidding me? That’s insane, in that she’s been able to do this.’
America’s tough Covid travel rules meant Britain’s latest tennis superstar was robbed of the chance to celebrate with her family.
Yet it seems there was some support from back home in the Big Apple after all – for the Mail can reveal that Miss Raducanu was cheered on to victory by a friend she’s known since the age of six.
Former tennis protege Benjamin Heynold, 19, has been by Miss Raducanu’s side throughout her stunning – and swift – rise to global stardom, having moved to the US to study.
Former tennis protege Benjamin Heynold, 19, has been by Miss Raducanu’s side throughout her stunning – and swift – rise to global stardom, having moved to the US to study
Emma Raducanu (back) and Ben Heynold (front) are pictured at the Royal Albert Hall
The taste of success: Miss Raducanu wields chopsticks as they share a meal together
Game, suit and match: 19-year-old Heynold is pictured sporting more formal attire
Following her victory at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, Miss Raducanu, 18, posed with her old pal for a photo beneath a Manhattan billboard celebrating the city’s new Grand Slam star.
Mr Heynold posted the image on social media along with a heartwarming picture of the pair as young children holding tennis medals.
The caption? ‘History.’
The friends met more than a decade ago through their mutual love of the sport, playing together in competitions across the country in the junior ranks and both making the Great Britain squad.
In 2017 the pair had their first taste of playing in front of a large crowd, taking part in a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall.
The day saw them pose for a photo with former British number one Greg Rusedski, who this week backed Miss Raducanu to win multiple Grand Slams.
While Miss Raducanu bagged her first trophy at the weekend, Mr Heynold appears to have pursued a different path.
Once tipped for sporting stardom himself, he is understood to have taken a step back from top-level tennis and is now studying in the US.
That allowed him to be by his childhood friend’s side – unlike Miss Raducanu’s family back in Bromley.
While she grew up in south-east London, Mr Heynold – the son of a managing director at an international investment banking firm – was raised in a sprawling private estate near Chertsey, Surrey.
He was educated at TASIS England – formerly known as The American School – where day fees for secondary school pupils start at around £20,000, rising to almost £50,000 for boarders.
Miss Raducanu has also found some time for an Old Etonian, too – for yesterday saw the Prime Minister speak to the tennis sensation for the first time following her stunning victory.
Boris Johnson congratulated Miss Raducanu in a phone call as she continued to soak up the atmosphere in New York following her debut at the Met Gala.
A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister ‘praised her determination, skill and mental strength during a series of tough matches, and said the whole of the UK had united behind her success’.
They added: ‘Both the Prime Minister and Emma agreed on the importance of continuing to support grassroots tennis, and in encouraging young people to take up the game.’