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Emma Raducanu’s team is joined by Tim Henman to celebrate the teenager’s sensational US Open victory


For Emma Raducanu the aftermath of her US Open victory involved a singsong in the minivan that took her and the team back to Manhattan late on Saturday night.

Then they sat up until nearly dawn reminiscing about an astonishing few weeks, sustained by a sushi feast and champagne.

The gathering was intimate at their Fifth Avenue hotel, which set aside the Presidential Suite for the first GB woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade. 

As one of the few Brits in New York through his work with Amazon Prime, former British No 1 Tim Henman has been on hand to offer advice to Raducanu, and he was invited along for the ride.

Emma Raducanu has been at the centre of attention across the world since Saturday’s success

The 18 year-old became Britain's first female singles Grand Slam champion for 44 years

The 18 year-old became Britain’s first female singles Grand Slam champion for 44 years

More than four hours had passed since she hit the winning ace, time filled largely by media and ceremonial obligations. Then the tournament laid on transport back to the city, and what has become the sporting summer’s anthem was soon on the sound system.

‘After Emma had done all her commitments and photos we all climbed into a minibus. Someone put on Sweet Caroline and I’ve got this great video on my phone of everyone singing along to it,’ Henman told Sportsmail.

‘It was a very special night, and a real privilege to be invited and be there. 

‘We reminisced and talked about everything that has happened in the past few weeks. I don’t think I left until 4.45am, it was such a happy occasion and everyone really enjoyed themselves.’ 

Raducanu herself does not drink, but the others present were happy to attack the bubbly, after one of the most unlikely triumphs in the history of any sport.

Raducanu seen smiling at the trophy presentation after her phenomenal US Open victory

Henman was working as a pundit during Raducanu's triumph in America

Ex-British No 1 Tim Henman (right) joined Raducanu’s team for a ‘special night’ to celebrate

Aside from Henman those present who have been helping her include coach Andrew Richardson, physio Will Herbert, Lawn Tennis Association head of women’s tennis Iain Bates and Chris Helliar, a former pro who works for her management company and has been at her side throughout.

They looked back on a remarkable run of 10 victories without a dropped set that had inauspicious beginnings.

It emerges that when Raducanu arrived at Flushing Meadows from her previous tournament in Chicago she was not even allowed to use the practice courts inside the grounds. Instead she had to go to a neighbouring complex in Corona park, where she and Richardson had to share a court with another qualifier.

On Monday, three weeks later, she was doing the rounds of US TV breakfast shows as the new champion.

A day which began with appearances on Good Morning America and Today was due to end with her attending the dazzling Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mixing with the great and the good is something the 18-year-old from Kent will get used to, and there was no sign of it fazing her.

She made the short journey from her Fifth Avenue hotel to the GMA studios in Times Square for a gentle interrogation about the aftermath of Saturday’s final.

Since the final, the teenager has engaged in a series of TV interviews to discuss her victory

Since the final, the teenager has engaged in a series of TV interviews to discuss her victory

New men’s champion Daniil Medvedev was doing a similar tour, and it added to the sense that the elite of tennis is entering a period of renewal.

One of the interesting aspects about Raducanu, is that with her astonishing rise she has not received media coaching like some players, although you would never know it.

She charmed her hosts as they asked her about all the congratulatory messages she has received, from the Queen downwards.

‘I was so honoured to receive a note from Her Majesty, it meant everything to me. I will probably frame the letter and keep it in my room or something,’ said Raducanu.

There was the revelation that her now famous mislaid air pods, which she was going to replace with her meagre qualifying prize money, were found in the locker room before the semi-finals.

Raducanu is likely to do more TV after she returns home in the middle of this week, but will soon need to get back to the business of planning her further ascent.

After the US Open, Raducanu looks ahead to other tournaments that take place this Autumn

After the US Open, Raducanu looks ahead to other tournaments that take place this Autumn

Monday’s rankings confirmed that she has rocketed to 23 from 150. As she observed, getting stronger will be key to maintaining that: ‘Physically I still have a lot of work to do, I’m still new to the game and I haven’t had that much time to develop.’

Her next tournament looks sure to be at Indian Wells, adjoining Palm Springs, in California next month.

Amazingly, she is already 14th in the race to qualify for the year-end WTA Finals, open to the season’s top eight women. It was announced that it is being switched from Shenzen to Guadalajarah in Mexico for this year, taking place in early November.

Raducanu might need to win Indian Wells to qualify, although with the participation of Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka in doubt the entry bar could yet be lowered.

She will have an immediate impact on British tennis, at a time when its most high profile players, Andy Murray and Jo Konta, are wrestling with long term injuries.

In sharp contrast, Murray was playing the first round of a Challenger event in Rennes on Monday night as he tries to build on an encouraging showing in the New York first round. He has privately congratulated Raducanu, while not joining in the clamour on social media, and discussed the speed of the Arthur Ashe court surface with her.

Such is the attention garnered by GB’s new star that it went almost unnoticed on Monday that both Dan Evans and Cam Norrie have reached career highs of 23 and 28 respectively.



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