US Open winner Emma Raducanu has opened up about how she feels about her newfound fame after her memorable victory over fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez.
The British 18-year-old became the first player to win a grand slam after gaining entry to the tournament through qualifiers, as well as the youngest grand slam winner since 2004, at the recent US Open.
Raducanu has found herself in high demand after the gruelling three-week US Open run, with a last-minute invitation to last week’s Met Gala in New York just the first of an array of sudden commitments.
She’s been on American talk shows, attended the Met Gala, ticked off a “bucket list” item by visiting the New York Stock Exchange, and chatted to Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton – big for a huge motorsport fan.
As for top soccer coach Jurgen Klopp, who manages Premier League Liverpool, he has described her as the “talent of the century.”
It’s been a lot for Raducanu to take in, with the teenager admitting she’s more than happy for her parents to manage her sudden windfall.
“I will just leave that to my parents. They can take that for me. I haven’t gone shopping yet,” she cracked.
Raducanu’s parents both work in finance – which firstly made her post-victory trip to the NYSE particularly special, but also means the $3.4 million she banked for winning the tournament is likely in the safest possible hands.
“I know that tennis is an extremely expensive sport, so it will probably go towards that,” she added.
Raducanu, who has also spoken to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the phone, said that she slept almost the entire day after getting back home to England and that she wanted to switch off after a gruelling two months.
Emma Raducanu blown away by response after US Open win
Raducanu’s life has been turned upside down since winning the U.S. Open title as an 18-year-old qualifier and, nearly a week later, she’s still struggling to get to grips with what has happened.
“Sometimes, I just have random bursts where I think, ‘Oh my God, I just won the US Open,’ and then I go about as normal as if nothing has happened,” reflected Raducanu back at her home on Friday.
Watching the final for the first time on Thursday – the day she returned to Britain after a whirlwind few days in New York – and trying to relive a few of the moments from her 6-4, 6-3 win over Canadian opponent Leylah Fernandez made it all sink in a bit more – almost.
“When I was watching it, it almost feels like that that’s not me who is playing, who is pulling off some of those shots,” she told the BBC.
Her win on Saturday turned her into a superstar overnight, putting her in huge demand in the United States.
Everyone wanted a piece of her, with Chanel inviting her to the Met Gala, where she joined a throbbing crowd of celebrities and fashion designers in New York. That was her highlight of the past few days, especially since she met Hamilton there.
“He is such a great inspiration,” she said.
The same can now be said of the down-to-earth Raducanu, who had taken 18 months off from tennis to finish her high school education because her parents wanted her to have something to fall back on.
The message she wants to get across is: Dream big and work hard, no matter what your background is.
“Even if it’s not tennis, even if it’s other dreams like in school and being a doctor or anything like that – dream big and anything can happen,” she told Sky Sports.
“And for tennis, I just want to get across you can be a normal kid, go to school, have all the normal things and still achieve results.”
Raducanu is taking time to reconsider her schedule after jumping from No.150 to No.23 following her US Open heroics, but has indicated she will consider an appearance at the Indian Wells tournament in October.
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Hall of Famer Mike Bossy reveals lung cancer battle – Toronto Sun
Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Bossy has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Bossy, 64, announced his illness on Tuesday in an open letter in French on TVA Sports’ website. He is stepping away from his analyst job at TVA Sports, with whom he has worked since 2015.
“Today it is with sadness that I must retire from your screens for a mandatory break,” Bossy wrote in French. “A necessary break during which I will have to receive treatment for lung cancer.
“I can tell you that I intend to fight with the determination and the enthusiasm that you have seen me display on the ice and in my game. That same determination that helped me achieve my dreams and my goals, the one that propelled me to the top of my sport, when I still put on my skates.”
The NHL acknowledged Bossy’s battle on its publc relations account on Twitter: “The @NHL family is with you, Mike Bossy.”
A four-time Stanley Cup winner with the New York Islanders (1980-83), Bossy recorded 1,126 points (573 goals, 553 assists) in 752 career games. The eight-time All-Star spent his entire 10-season NHL career with the Islanders.
Bossy won the 1978 Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year, and the 1982 Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs. He also was a three-time Lady Byng Memorial Trophy recipient (1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86).
A chronic back injury forced Bossy to retire following the 1986-87 season. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.
“The battle I am about to wage will not be easy,” Bossy wrote. “Know that I will give my 100 percent, nothing less, with the objective of meeting you again soon, after a very eventful hockey game. You will never be very far in my thoughts. On the contrary, you will occupy a privileged place and you will be one of my motivations to get better.”
Raptors Notes: Boucher, Roster, Nurse, Tax – hoopsrumors.com
After missing the entire preseason due to a dislocated finger, Raptors big man Chris Boucher has been cleared to return for the team’s regular season opener, writes Lori Ewing of The Canadian Press (link via The Toronto Star).
Boucher had a breakout year in 2020/21, averaging 13.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 1.9 BPG in 60 games (24.2 MPG). He’s expected to once again play a regular role in the Raptors’ frontcourt this season before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2022.
“My whole career, my whole time in Toronto, nothing has been promised … I had to work for everything, I see it the same way this year,” Boucher said of his mindset in a contract year, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link). “… At the end of the day I gotta be consistent, that’s the one remaining thing I gotta focus on.”
Here’s more on the Raptors:
- Toronto’s roster, which is heavy on long, versatile forwards, is unlikely any group the franchise has put together in its 27 years of existence, opines Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. As Smith observes, 11 of the Raptors’ 15 players on standard contracts have listed heights of at least 6’7″, but none are taller than 6’9″.
- Having lost veteran leaders like Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, and Marc Gasol in recent years, head coach Nick Nurse will be tasked with leading a less experienced group this season, Smith writes for The Toronto Star. While Nurse adjusts his style to accommodate the new-look roster, Fred VanVleet says he’s helping the newcomers adapt to Nurse’s outside-the-box approach to coaching. “He’s a little weird at times, but he won us a championship, so he knows what he’s doing,” VanVleet said.
- Following the Raptors’ roster cuts on the weekend, Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca took an in-depth look at the team’s cap and tax situation and which recently-waived players are – or aren’t – expected to play in the G League with the Raptors 905. Toronto’s team salary is currently above the luxury tax line, but the club still has the flexibility to duck below that line after pushing back the salary guarantee dates for Sam Dekker and Isaac Bonga.
Raptors reveal starting lineup for season opener vs. Wizards – Yahoo Canada Sports
After weeks of speculation, we finally know who Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is using in his starting lineup — at least to start the season.
The Raptors announced Fred VanVleet, Goran Dragic, Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa as their starting five for Wednesday’s season-opening game against the Washington Wizards at Scotiabank Arena. It’s not the most surprising lineup, with Dragic beating out Gary Trent Jr. and Achiuwa earning the nod over fellow big men Khem Birch and Chris Boucher.
The frontcourt doesn’t possess much size, but Barnes, Anunoby and Achiuwa are all long players with plenty of athleticism to boot. That should make for a strong defensive unit, even without a traditional centre.
In VanVleet and Dragic, the Raptors feature a veteran backcourt that can facilitate for teammates and knock down the three-point shot with consistency.
Whether this five-man unit will be the norm going forward or if Toronto will adapt game-to-game based on matchups remains to be seen.
Nurse said he plans to use nine or 10 players in his rotation on opening night, meaning Birch, Trent, Boucher, and Svi Mykhailiuk should all see minutes off the bench.
Boucher was questionable after missing the entire preseason with a dislocated finger, but Nurse confirmed he was available against the Wizards.
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