There are many different types of magical moments in tennis: Epic matches, Grand Slam finals, major breakthroughs, stunning upsets. But there’s nothing quite like the shock of the new, that moment when fans get their first glimpse of a star in the making. Even if the player in question goes on to win hundreds of more important matches in the future, there’s nothing quite like being there for the debut performance.
Today’s star in the making is Emma Raducanu, and she’s very, very new. Even the most diehard tennis fans likely hadn’t heard her name before Andy Murray tweeted his encouragement to her this week. Raducanu is 18. Ranked 338th in the world, she made her WTA debut last month in Nottingham, and she’s from Great Britain, a country not known for churning out women tennis prodigies on a regular basis. The last time Raducanu played was at Wimbledon, in 2019, she lost in the first round of the girls’ event.
As of last week, she said she was thrilled just to be able to practice with pros like Marketa Vondrousova and Garbiñe Muguruza, and to get a second call back from Muguruza.