Emma Raducanu: British teen wins US Open
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Emma Raducanu is set to help invest in the next generation of British female tennis champions. When Amazon Prime Video sold the rights to broadcast the 18-year-old’s historic US Open final for a reported seven figures, they committed to re-investing the money into future stars of the sport. It has now been announced that Raducanu herself will advise Prime on the best way to funnel the cash injection into finding her future successors.
Raducanu achieved something never seen before in the sport when she became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title at the US Open last month.
The 18-year-old was also part of the first all-teenage final at the US Open since 1999, when a then-17-year-old Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis, then 18, to win her maiden Grand Slam title.
There was huge hype for the final between Raducanu and Leylah Annie Fernandez, who turned 19 during the tournament, as the pair arrived in Flushing Meadows ranked down at world No 150 and No 73 respectively, shocking everyone by making it to the championship match.
With the British interest, Amazon Prime Video agreed a deal for Channel 4 to simulcast the match, a huge move which saw 9.2 million viewers tune in to see Raducanu lift the title via the free-to-air channel.
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At the time, Prime announced that they would be reinvesting the money straight back into funding the next generation of Britain’s female tennis players.
Raducanu is now set to get involved with the initiative and advise the streaming service on the best way to utilise the money – said to be a seven figure sum – based on her own experiences of coming through the game.
The Bromley local herself has previously benefitted from Prime’s help, as part of her remarkable rise through the ranks was also funded by the streaming service.
Alongside one of Britain’s rising stars in the men’s game, Jack Draper – who took a set off Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon this summer – the world No 22 was given the opportunity to receive mentorship from Andy Murray as well as a cash boost to fund her own career.
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Alex Green, Managing director of Prime Video Sport in Europe, said: “When we started broadcasting tennis we wanted to help support young British tennis and we found two young players, Jack Draper, who is also doing well, and Emma and help fund them on their route to becoming pro tennis players, also with the help of the support of Andy Murray, who provided mentorship.”
Following Raducanu’s historic triumph in Flushing Meadows, the streaming service saw it fitting to reinvest in up-and-coming players once again.
“We thought that was the right thing to do. At Amazon we are working with the LTA and Emma herself, she has unique insight into what is needed to help young women tennis players really rise to the top.
“We are working with both of those and really hoping to make a difference to young women’s tennis in the country,” Green added.
Raducanu has previously been keen to help invest money into grassroots tennis, as the 18-year-old discussed the matter with Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a phone call in the days after her title win.
The move paid off as, earlier this month, the government commited to investing £22 million into public tennis courts across the country, with public interest in tennis heightened in the wake of the Bromley teenager’s stunning victory.
Alex Green admitted that, amid the Raducanu hype, it is a “moment that we can’t waste”, as Prime looks to funnel cash into finding the next generation of female tennis stars in Britain.
“This is a rare, rare moment,” he said.
“A rare moment globally, let alone for the UK. I think we do need to capitalise on it. It’s great to be able to contribute to that.”
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