ITV News Correspondent Sharon Thomas reports on how Emma Raducanu can't book a tennis court at her local club
British teenage tennis star Emma Raducanu has revealed she cannot book a court after her US Open win inspired the country to pick up their rackets.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Raducanu said she has not been able to get on a local court since she arrived back at home in Bromley on Thursday, five days after her historic victory in New York.
Raducanu won Saturday's final against Canada's Leylah Fernandez on an ace. She revealed she had to pretend she was going for the match point at the US Open in training, but the reality was rather different.
"Normally in practice, if I miss it, I just keep going until I make it, but you don't get that luxury in such situations like the final," she told Ben Shephard and Kate Galloway.
“I was shocked, because one - I went for that serve out wide and I didn’t make it the whole match, I just missed every single one but that last point I just drove my legs like never before," she said about winning match point.
"Actually before the serve I was thinking, if I’m going to need my services right here and I actually had a feeling I was going to hit that and finish on an ace, like a weird inside feeling.”
"In practice, I'd keep going until I make it" - Emma Raducanu said she would pretend she was going for the match point in training
The 18-year-old was the first qualifier to win a grand slam singles title in the Open Era and had arrived in New York three weeks earlier simply targeting a place in the main draw.
Her triumphant Flushing Meadows' journey meant her team had to keep pushing back her flight back to London.
"I'm pretty sure I had mine booked at the end of qualifying, but I know for sure that my team had it booked two days after, and they were pushing it back every round. They were calling the travel agent...By the end I'm pretty sure the travel agent recognised when the number what was going to happen," she said.
"They were pushing it back every round" - Raducanu says she had her flight back to London booked for two days after qualifying, and had to keep pushing it back
On winning the US Open less than a week ago, Raducanu commented: “It’s pretty amazing. I got home yesterday and it was really nice just to spend time with my family, but I watched the match last night actually in replay and slowly and gradually it’s sinking in a little bit.
"I was reliving some of the points and just trying to imagine what I was feeling in those situations.”
She said it would have been "100% more stressful watching"
"I think when you are playing you feel like you have more control. In the moment and in the situation you can make the decisions, but I sort of knew already what was going to happen," Raducanu said.
"But some of the moments, like the end and the time out - they were pretty nervous to watch, but in the moment I didn’t want to take it, as I thought I was going to mess my own rhythm up.
"I was having to serve breakpoint down, but we watched it and the slide looked really cool in slow motion.”
Raducanu also revealed she has not yet treated herself to anything with the £1.8million prize money she won.
Both the teenager’s parents are in finance, and the told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I know that tennis is an extremely expensive sport so it will probably go towards that.”
She said: “I found out the night before and it was amazing. I was so grateful to get the opportunity to go. The performances were amazing. I managed to see Lewis Hamilton, which was really cool because I’m a huge motorsports fan.”
Along with a letter of congratulations from the Queen, Raducanu also spoke on the phone to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“It was really nice of him and he congratulated me, but we also spoke about how we both wanted to try to inspire more kids in grassroots tennis and get more young children involved, and hopefully my win can show you can live a normal life and achieve great things,” she said.
Raducanu will take some time at home to rest and recover before deciding where to make her next appearance on tour, with Indian Wells next month the leading candidate.