Emma Raducanu discusses plans for US Open prize money
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Emma Raducanu’s incredible US Open success should inspire more young girls to take up tennis, Judy Murray hopes. The 18-year-old sensationally became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since 1977 earlier this month.
There were many factors that made Raducanu’s success extraordinary.
She started the tournament as a qualifier and her showdown win over Leylah Fernandez was her 10th match over a gruelling three-week period.
The Bromley-based star did not drop a single set at Flushing Meadows in qualifying or in the main draw.
Raducanu ended a 44-year wait for a British woman to win a Grand Slam, becoming the first to do so since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon.
And Andy Murray’s mother Judy hopes Raducanu will be a role model for young girls around the country.
“It was an incredible success,” Judy Murray told the BBC on a visit to Mile End Primary School in Aberdeen.
“It really came out of nowhere, and it will provide a massive inspiration.
“I think for grassroots tennis to grow, and especially for girls’ tennis, to have a teen role model, it couldn’t be better for getting more girls involved in playing the game.”
She added: “So we’re hoping lots of the girls that are here today at Mile End Primary will be inspired by what she did and want to play our wonderful sport.
“We have to take advantage of the massive opportunity that Emma’s success and her profile and the excitement that that has brought.
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“Therefore events like this where you take your sport into the communities and you let people try it. You make it easy, you make it fun, and you make it colourful.
“Hopefully we grow the numbers and we get many, many more kids playing tennis across Scotland.”
Express Sport revealed last week that the Lawn Tennis Association hope Raducanu’s success will land them an extra £20million in government grants to save park courts.
“About 1.7m people pick up a racket and play tennis in parks every year, which is about 40 per cent the number of people who play tennis. So a large volume of the people who play tennis do so in parks,” Olly Scadgell, the LTA’s participation director, told Express Sport.
“We also know that about 40 per cent of those park sites are unplayable or, if they don’t receive funding in the near future, they will be unplayable.
“We’ve identified £8.5m worth of grant investment to reinvigorate those park courts, and to put that booking and gate-access technology in to make that journey to the court easy.
“But we need more. We have had some really positive conversations with the government and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for a further £20m to support that programme and to make those park courts sustainable for the long-term and for the communities in which they exist.
“Those conversations started a number of months ago and obviously before Emma’s success. What she has achieved over the last few weeks certainly helps when we ask.”
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