Emma Raducanu reacts to messages from the royal family
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Emma Raducanu’s enjoyed one of the most remarkable journeys to superstardom in the space of just a few months which all began at Wimbledon – but that very nearly didn’t happen. That’s according to former British tennis star John Lloyd, who details how Wimbledon initially ‘screwed up’.
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Towards the end of June, there would have only been a few people who may have known about Raducanu.
Nigel Sears, Raducanu’s former coach and Andy Murray’s father-in-law, knew there was something special about the teenager early on.
And the British public would soon find that out for themselves at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships.
Raducanu entered the first Grand Slam of her young career ranked 338th in the world but would soon shoot up the rankings.
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What would follow in the space of just a few months is nothing short of one of the greatest achievements in British sporting history.
Raducanu’s talents were clear at Wimbledon, but nobody foresaw the 18-year-old going on to win the US Open without dropping a single set!
But Lloyd, who won three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in his career, has detailed how Wimbledon nearly ‘screwed up’ Raducanu’s summer bonanza before it even began.
“I heard about her before Wimbledon,” he told talkRADIO.
“Nigel Sears actually, as well as my nephew Scott Lloyd, who’s in charge of the LTA, they told me about Emma.
“I had never saw her play but they said this girl is something special.
“Wimbledon actually messed up at the beginning because they didn’t give her a wildcard – the Wimbledon panel screwed it up.
“They eventually did give her a wildcard when she won a couple of rounds the week before.
“She then got a wildcard and won three rounds and then had that sort of wobble, but you could tell, as soon as she stepped on to court that there was something about her.”
Lloyd was also discussing his “brief” role in a tennis move called Players, which was based on a tennis prodigy coming through the qualifiers to lose in the final.
The 67-year-old admitted he didn’t like tennis films following the script of movies like Rocky, but has seemingly changed his mind after Raducanu arguably created an even greater script in real life.
“They wrote that script – and I thought it was a ridiculous script – then a few years later they had the movie Wimbledon,” he added.
“I read the script before it came out and somebody said to me, ‘what do you think?’ I said it was nonsense.
“‘You’ve got to stop doing these Rocky films about tennis, it doesn’t work like that.
“And then Emma goes and does exactly that! It was unbelievable!”
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