Raducanu was born in Toronto and raised in London. She made her WTA Tour debut in June 2021. With a wildcard entry at Wimbledon, ranked outside the top 300, she reached the fourth round in her first major tournament. At the US Open two months later, Raducanu became the first singles qualifier in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title, beating Leylah Fernandez in the final without dropping a set in the tournament. It was the second Grand Slam tournament of her career; she holds the Open Era record for the fewest majors played before winning a title.
Emma Raducanu was born on 13 November 2002 in Toronto, Canada, and was raised in Bromley, England. Her father Ion Răducanu (pronounced [rədu'kanu]) is from Bucharest, Romania, and her mother Renee Zhai (Dongmei) is from Shenyang, China. She has said that her parents "both came from very academic families... [in] communist countries so education was kind of their only option". Both of her parents work in the finance sector.
Her family moved to England when she was two years old, and she holds both British and Canadian citizenship. She is fluent in Mandarin and almost fluent in Romanian; her grandmothers live in Bucharest and Northeast China. Raducanu started playing tennis at the age of five, while also participating in various other sports and activities as a child, such as basketball, golf, karting, motocross, skiing, horse riding and ballet. Raducanu is a fan of Formula One and the football club Tottenham Hotspur.
On 28 January 2022, a man was found guilty of stalking Raducanu at her home; Raducanu said that the incidents made her feel unsafe in her house and concerned to go out alone. On 23 February 2022, the offender was sentenced to a five-year restraining order.
Raducanu during qualifying as a junior at Wimbledon in 2018
Raducanu made her International Tennis Federation (ITF) debut in Liverpool at the Nike Junior International (Grade-5 event) after having entered on her 13th birthday, the earliest allowed age of entry. She subsequently won the tournament eight days later and became the youngest ever winner of an ITF Under-18 tournament. Her ITF junior success continued in 2017 with two titles in February at the Yonex ITF Hamburg and ITF Oslo Open Grade-4 events.
Raducanu won the ITF Chandigarh Lawn Tennis girls' tournament in January 2018. In 2018, she won ITF Grade-3 at Chandigarh and Grade-2 junior tournaments at New Delhi both in India. Raducanu defeated Diana Khodan of Ukraine in the final at Chandigarh, held at the Lawn Tennis Association Stadium, where she won in straight sets. She won two additional titles the following month, four in total for 2018 and seven over the course of her junior career, with wins at the Biotehnos Cup and Šiauliai Open Grade-2 events.
Raducanu made her debut on the ITF Women's circuit in 2018 and secured her first title of the year in May at the $15,000 ITF Tiberias. She finished the season with a second $15,000 title in October at the ITF Antalya.
In 2019, Raducanu competed in Maharashtra, India. She retired in the second round of the $25K Solapur Open.
She won a $25K event in Pune, India, in December; in the final at Deccan Gymkhana Ground, she won against Naiktha Bains in three sets. Her semifinal and quarterfinal victories came in three sets. In the Fed Cup (Billie Jean King Cup) in 2019, she was a hitting partner for the British team. She was then selected to play for the team in 2020 Qualifying after Johanna Konta withdrew to focus on the Olympics. At the time, Raducanu was described as "the British player with the most potential of her generation". She would have partnered Bains in the doubles qualifiers against Slovakia, but the match was not played. Asked about being called up to the British team as a teenager, Raducanu said "Being a bit of the underdog is great because you can go out there with no fear."
In 2020, many tennis events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Raducanu participated in exhibition matches and small tournaments in the United Kingdom. She won the Lawn Tennis Association LTA British Tour Masters title in December 2020. She also devoted time to her academic studies, preparing for her A Level examinations, which she took in 2021.
2021: WTA Tour, top 20, Grand Slam debuts, and US Open title
In July 2021, Raducanu changed her coach from Sears to Andrew Richardson, one of her youth coaches. Richardson was chosen to coach Raducanu through the US Open Series. Raducanu then played at the Silicon Valley Classic, the first women's tournament in the annual US Open Series, in August after again receiving a wildcard to enter the tournament; she lost in the first round to Zhang Shuai. She reached the final of the WTA 125 event in Chicago, where she lost to Clara Tauson. The WTA ranking points she gained brought her to a new career-high ranking of world No. 150.
Street art on Brick Lane depicting Raducanu during her US Open win
At the US Open, Radcanu entered the main draw as a qualifier. She advanced to the semi-finals without dropping a set, and became the fifth player in the open era to reach a grand slam semifinal as a qualifier. In progressing to the final of the US Open, Raducanu entered the top 25 and became British No. 1. She became the fifth player in the Open Era to make the semifinal on her US Open debut, and the first British woman to reach the US Open final since Virginia Wade in 1968. Raducanu defeated Leylah Fernandez in two sets, winning with a 109-mph ace, in what was the first all-teenage women's singles final since the 1999 US Open. She won the title without dropping a set, the first woman to do so at the US Open since Williams in 2014. Raducanu was the first qualifier (male or female) to win a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era. As a result of her US Open victory, Raducanu rose to No. 23 in the rankings, a jump of 332 places from the start of the year. Raducanu received congratulatory messages from a number of notable figures, including Elizabeth II and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Raducanu (foreground) and Elena-Gabriela Ruse practiced together at the Transylvania Open in 2021; the pair played a Champions exhibition match against each other a month later.
Less than two weeks after her victory at the US Open, Raducanu chose not to extend her coaching arrangement with Richardson. She entered the Indian Wells Open in October 2021, accepting a wildcard place in the main draw. Although she was without a coach, former British No. 1 Jeremy Bates aided her at the event. Raducanu lost in straight sets in her first match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. After her loss in Indian Wells, Raducanu withdrew from the Kremlin Cup citing schedule changes.
Later in October, Raducanu entered the Transylvania Open, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, as the third seed. There, she earned her first WTA Tour victory by defeating Polona Hercog. She advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Ana Bogdan, before losing to Marta Kostyuk in straight sets. Her last WTA Tour event of 2021 was the Linz Open, which she entered as the top seed for the first time. She lost in her round of 16 match against Wang Xinyu, in three sets. Shortly after the tournament, she announced she had hired a permanent coach, naming Torben Beltz to the position.
Raducanu was set to start the season at the Melbourne Summer Set, but withdrew, citing her recent bout of COVID-19. She began the season at the Sydney International and lost to Elena Rybakina in the first round. She reached her career-high singles ranking of No. 18 on 10 January 2022 and made her Australian Open debut as the 17th seed, where she defeated 2017 US Open champion and former world No. 3 Sloane Stephens in the first round. She was defeated by Danka Kovinić in the second round, putting the loss down to a blister on her racquet hand. On 14 February 2022, she climbed to a new career-high singles ranking of 12. At the Abierto Zapopan she retired in her first-round match against Daria Saville in the third set, due to an injury acquired during the over three-and-a-half-hour match, the longest of the WTA season, after having served for the match a set earlier. She subsequently withdrew from the Monterrey Open due to the reported "small left leg injury".
After only five months of working together, Raducanu announced a split from her coach Torben Beltz to use a new training model with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) supporting in the interim. This change included the addition of LTA coach Louis Cayer as a consultant on her technique, particularly serves, having worked together since early April. She made her debut at the Madrid Open as the ninth seed and was aided by Iain Bates of the LTA in place of a coach. After defeating Tereza Martincová and Marta Kostyuk in the first and second rounds, she was defeated by Anhelina Kalinina in the third. She entered her first Italian Open as the 10th seed, despite carrying a back injury; she retired in the first round against former world No. 4 and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.
Raducanu started her grass season at the 2022 Nottingham Open, where she faced Viktorija Golubic in the first round. However after only 33 minutes of the match, she was forced to retire from the tournament due to injury, resulting in a walkover. She was 4-3 down in the first set of the match at the time of her retirement. Raducanu had been expected to enter as a top 20 wildcard into Eastbourne, but did not enter due to the ongoing injury. Nevertheless, she entered Wimbledon, where she was seeded 10th. She was defeated by Caroline Garcia in the second round after a first round win over Alison Van Uytvanck.
Emma Raducanu playing a forehand shot at the 2021 Nottingham Open
Raducanu is primarily a baseline player, with an aggressive style of play. She hits the ball early, and is adept at redirecting power down the line. Her best groundstroke is her two-handed backhand, which was described as "world-class" by former British No. 1 Anne Keothavong. Raducanu can hit her backhand one-handed with slice, to break up the pace of rallies and disrupt her opponent's rhythm, but she does not use this shot often.
Raducanu has a strong forehand, although it is more volatile than her backhand. Her serve is strong, peaking at 110 mph (180 km/h), and she has a consistent ball toss, and accurate serve positioning. Raducanu's most effective serve is a wide, sliced serve, which she used during the 2021 US Open. Raducanu's second serve is typically delivered at a higher speed than the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) average, at 93 mph (150 km/h), allowing her to play offensively even after missing a first serve. She is known for her return of serve. She keeps opponents deep in the court by taking the ball early, and hitting hard down the line, whilst attacking short second serves by going for return winners.
Her movement, court coverage, footwork, speed, and anticipation allow her to rally and defend effectively against opponents. She blends good point construction with tactical flexibility, making it difficult for opponents to read her game. Despite typically playing from the baseline, Raducanu is a capable net player, and she possesses an effective drop shot. Raducanu is comfortable on all surfaces, although she has stated that she prefers hard courts, where she won her maiden Grand Slam title.
Raducanu is sponsored by Nike for clothing and shoes, and by Wilson for racquets, currently endorsing the Wilson Blade range of racquets; despite this, she uses the Wilson Steam 100 on court, painted as a Wilson Blade.
Raducanu's popularity and marketability increased considerably after her US Open victory, with sports analysts noting her potential to appeal to multiple markets. Her net worth was estimated to be £12 million in a June 2022 article. Raducanu signed with sports agency IMG while on the junior circuit and has been represented by executive Max Eisenbud.
In September 2021, Raducanu became an ambassador for jewellery brand Tiffany & Co., and became an ambassador for Dior in October 2021. In December 2021, she signed with British Airways and French bottled water brand Evian. She also starred alongside other British sportspeople and celebrities in a Christmas advertisement for sporting goods retailer Sports Direct in November 2021.
Raducanu became an ambassador for British telecommunications firm Vodafone and German automobile manufacturer Porsche in March 2022. In June 2022, Raducanu signed a four-year deal with British multinational bank HSBC. In the run-up to the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, Raducanu starred in a number of marketing campaigns for Vodafone and Evian, who are also sponsors of Wimbledon.