The fun returned the moment the pain disappeared, as did the smile that fans just love about Emma Raducanu. “It’s an amazing feeling to be on the court playing pain free”, says the 21-year-old. “I’m so grateful and now truly realise how much I love tennis, and how much I really missed it.”
Emma Raducanu’s star rose at the 2021 US Open in New York. Only 18-years-old at the time, the Briton went on a sensational winning run without losing a single set to become the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam. The teenager from London became a world star overnight. She was the star guest at major international events like the Met Gala and became the youngest person ever to be named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
“Everything did flip overnight and all of a sudden you’re being watched, everything is being watched”, reflects the Canadian-born player. Meeting the ensuing expectations was a huge challenge, not helped by dealing with injury setbacks. She had been struggling with wrist pain since before the 2022 US Open. “I knew for a while before I did the surgeries that I needed it”, says the Porsche Brand Ambassador, who played her last match of the 2023 season in April at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. “I was only practicing 45 minutes a day. I couldn’t practice everything I wanted to because of the pain. I felt very undercooked when I would go into matches and unprepared. That was the most difficult thing mentally for me to take.”
The road back was full of highs and lows
She hit her first balls on the courts after surgery in August 2023, but the road back was full of highs and lows. In these tough times, it was her parents in particular that supported her and encouraged her not to give up, and to continue fighting. It was not only a battle for fitness and form but also one against repetitiveness and monotony. She tried to see the positives: “I decided to try and spin it into a good thing and use this time for myself.” After having surgery, she visited her two grandmothers, one in Shenyang, China and the other in the Romanian capital Bucharest. “I would probably never get the chance to do that on a normal calendar”, says Emma Raducanu, “I tried to put my time to good use, learning new skills. I did some painting, I learnt a little bit of the piano.” And she had more time for another passion – driving cars: “I love going for drives, with music, friends or solo. I got to drive some really cool models of Porsche. I was driving the Panamera and the Taycan around London, which I really like.”
The focus is now firmly on tennis. It feels a bit like a new chapter is beginning says Emma Raducanu. She is ready for it and eager to find out what is in store: “One thing the time off has told me is I love the sport. Like going back on after such a long break you come back with so much more enthusiasm and hunger.” The Australian Open is her first highlight, others will follow during the course of the year. “I think going back to Wimbledon will be really special for me. I love the huge crowds and the big stadiums, that’s one of my favourite things about tennis”, she enthuses before continuing: “I can’t wait for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. It’s got the best prize out there on tour!”
The short film in the “9:11 Magazine” showing Emma Raducanu in the gym and on the practice court, looks back at various points in her career including her appearance at the 2023 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, and accompanies her behind the steering wheel of a Porsche Taycan. The report is backed by the exciting things the Porsche Brand Ambassador has to say, some in exclusive interview sequences.