Emma Raducanu says her parents are her 'toughest critics' who she made 'proud' with US Open win

Emma Raducanu after US Open final victory Credit: PA

Emma Raducanu has described finally meeting her parents high expectations after her historic victory at the US Open, saying they are her "toughest critics" but she "got them with this one".

Raducanu spoke of how her Chinese mother Renee and Romanian father Ian are "very hard to please"- but credited them for making her such a resilient tennis player.

In a remarkable performance on Saturday, the 18-year-old Londoner ended Britain's 44-year-wait for a women's Grand Slam singles champion after winning the US Open's final in straight sets.

Renee Raducanu (2nd left), and Ian Raducanu (top, second right) are in the stands watching their daughter at Wimbledon. Credit: PA

Speaking to Good Morning America today, she said her parents, who were forced to watch their daughter on TV because of the continuing difficulties of international travel, were "pretty tough" on her growing up.

"My parents played a huge part in my upbringing. They were pretty tough on me when I was young, but they kind of shaped the way. And I think now it is helping on the biggest stages in the world," Raducanu said.

"They are my toughest critics and very, very hard to please, but I got them with this one!" she joked.

"It was really nice to talk to them after I won. They were just so happy and proud of me."

The teenager added that her self-confidence is what helped propel her through qualifying in New York to lifting the trophy in front of a rapturous crowd weeks later.

"10 matches ago when I was playing my first round qualies, I did not think I would be in the US Open final or winning it," she told the American chat show.

"If you just do the best you can with every single day, time flies, and you can really achieve anything with inner belief."

Her historic 6-4 6-3 victory over Leylah Fernandez, her 19-year-old Canadian opponent, has, unsurprisingly, led to a flurry of press and sporting attention from around the world.

Andy Murray was asked about Raducanu at a press conference following his victory over Germany's Yannick Maden to reach the second round of the Rennes Open.

He said the 18-year-old's victory will be a huge boost for British tennis internationally.

"It was incredible what she did," the three time Scottish Grand Slam Winner told journalists.

"For a lot of the people involved in British Tennis we knew she was extremely good. She had not competed much for the last 18 months or so, with school and coronavirus and those sorts of things.

"But I think at Wimbledon everyone sort of got a bit of a glimpse as to how good she can be."

Murray, who took just 74 minutes to beat Maden 6-3 6-1, went on to describe her historic feat in New York as a "very special" achievement.

"It is a huge boost for British Tennis and hopefully gives the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalise on that and get more and more kids involved in the sport," he said.

Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu pose for photos after Raducanu defeated Fernandez in the final of the US Open tennis championship. Credit: AP

In something of a fairytale, Raducanu, who only finished her A-levels earlier this summer, won 10 straight matches in New York - including three in qualifying - without dropping a single set.

"I think just the sheer amount of matches that I had played over the last four, five weeks, with each one I was building in confidence. And I think with each one it gave me more and more of a free swing to go for my shots and be more aggressive," she told GMA.

"I was playing some extremely great opponents - Olympic champion, top 2020 - and when you play those players you definitely need to raise your game."

Raducanu’s success came just two months after she was forced to retire from her fourth-round match at Wimbledon against Ajla Tomljanovic due to breathing difficulties.

Emma Raducanu in action against Ajla Tomljanovic on day seven of Wimbledon in July. Credit: PA

“I took away from that that for me it was more of a physical issue,” she said. “I think that to win a grand slam you need a lot of mental strength so I think the resilience part of it sort of speaks for itself. “I needed to go through all of that to win a slam, but physically I’ve still got a lot of work to do because I’m still very new to the game and I haven’t had that time to really develop."

Saturday's victory meant Raducanu became the first woman ever to win a title in as few as two tournaments, and the youngest since Maria Sharapova triumphed at Wimbledon in 2004.

During the heated final at Flushing Meadows in New York, Raducanu was cheered on by an emotional Virginia Wade, who was the last British woman to win a major trophy at Wimbledon in 1977.

Speaking to ITV News, Wade hailed Raducanu as a “one of a kind” sports player, who will go on to inspire future generations.

Virginia Wade: 'She should be set up there with the top girls for a long time.'

The teenager has been inundated with congratulatory messages, including from the Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Raducanu will take home prize money of £1.8 million – more than eight times her current career earnings – as well as 2,000 ranking points, which will move her up from her current standing of 150 to 23.