LONDON (Reuters) – London’s Royal Albert Corridor might hardly have supplied a extra becoming stage for Emma Raducanu’s first look on a British tennis court docket since her astonishing U.S. Open triumph.
On Sunday, 79 days since a rare run in New York culminated in victory over Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and being topped Britain’s new tennis queen, the 19-year-old loved a belated homecoming on the iconic Victorian live performance corridor.
The stakes weren’t as excessive for her exhibition match towards Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse as when, as a qualifier ranked one hundred and fiftieth on the planet, she turned Britain’s first feminine Grand Slam champion for 44 years in September.
However, with respect to the previous massive names who’ve been gracing this week’s Champions Tennis occasion, the packed lunchtime crowd had solely come to see Raducanu, who has risen from obscurity to turn out to be one of many world’s most marketable athletes.
It was her first match on house soil since July when her dream Wimbledon debut got here to an finish within the fourth spherical after she retired with respiration difficulties towards skilled Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
There was no such drama this time in a light-hearted hit-around along with her good friend and common practise companion Ruse, ranked eighty fifth on the planet. The pair delighted spectators within the 150-year-old venue with some participating rallies and jokes, with one younger fan yelling “Emma will you marry me” within the third recreation.
Later Ruse handed her racket to a ballboy who rallied with Raducanu and even managed to interrupt serve after some nifty community.
Ruse averted gatecrashing Raducanu’s social gathering and the house favorite produced some glowing winners to triumph 6-3 7-6.
The intense enterprise begins once more now for Raducanu and new coach Torben Beltz as she prepares for the looming Australian the place she may have rather a lot to dwell as much as.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Enhancing by Alexander Smith)