Emma Raducanu: 'I'll leave £1.8m prize money for parents to sort out'

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Emma Raducanu on BBC Breakfast - Emma Raducanu: 'I'll leave £1.8m prize money for parents to sort out'
Emma Raducanu on BBC Breakfast - Emma Raducanu: 'I'll leave £1.8m prize money for parents to sort out'

Emma Raducanu says she will leave her parents to work out what to do with the £1.8m prize money she won at the US Open.

Asked on breakfast television whether she had yet worked out how to spend the winnings, the 18-year-old replied: "I will just leave that to my parents. They can take that for me."

Raducanu said she hadn't yet checked to see if the money had arrived in her bank account but anticipated that the majority would be spent on her future expenses. "I haven't done anything or bought anything yet," she said. "I know tennis is an expensive sport. From everything, travel and expenses. It'll probably go towards that. I don't really think of the money side of that. I know there are a lot of taxes and expenses."

Explaining what happened in the hours after her victory on Saturday night, Raducanu said that the Sweet Caroline singalong that started in the Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows continued on the way back to the hotel.

"I didn't know [Sweet Caroline] was coming at all. I was loving it in the moment singing along, seeing the Brits and the union jacks in the crowd," Raducanu said. "There was sort of a party bus going on in a sprinter van [back to the hotel] with a lot of music, good tunes, and we were all just singing along.

“And then we had a really nice night just talking until early in the morning, just reflecting on the whole experience and what an amazing time it’s been.

She added: "I managed to go to some really cool events and places...At the Met Gala, I spoke to Lewis Hamilton, which was really, really cool being such a fan of motorsport and Formula 1.”

Raducanu — the first qualifier ever to win a grand slam — arrived back in Britain on Thursday morning and enjoyed a low-key celebration with her family in Bromley.

The winner returns Emma Raducanu is reunited with her father Ian as she arrive at her south London home - David Rose
The winner returns Emma Raducanu is reunited with her father Ian as she arrive at her south London home - David Rose

"My mum made some really good homemade dumplings but there was nothing crazy or over the top," she said.

The 18-year-old also re-watched her US Open final – admitting that doing so was more stressful than playing.

“Last night, I actually re-watched the final and tried to relive a couple of the moments and remember how it felt, so it is sinking in a little more.

“It’s funny because when I was watching it, it almost feels like that’s not me that was playing and pulling off some of those shots, it feels like it’s someone else.

“I knew exactly what was going to happen but still it’s a very tense moment and, re-watching it, I was really proud of how I came through some tough moments and also the [medical] timeout at the end – I didn’t realise how stressful that was on TV compared to live."

Raducanu also addressed some of the rumours that have been circulating, including an alleged meeting with Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor, who was thought to be on the same plane back to the UK from New York.

"I actually didn't know she was on my flight. That didn't happen," Raducanu said.

Revealing details of her phone call with Boris Johnson, Raducanu said that she wanted to help ensure that her breakthrough performance was used to boost tennis participation in the UK.

"It was really nice of him," Raducanu said. "He congratulated me. We also spoke about inspiring more kids in grass-roots tennis and getting more children involved. I hope it shows you can live a normal life and do great things."

The 18-year-old said she planned to put the US Open trophy – which is being shipped from New York – “front and centre” on a shelf in her home “or maybe I’ll do a nice display for it”.

She added: “It means a lot, so thank you to everyone who watched and supported and sent me some really kind messages but I would say that the most important thing for me to stay relaxed in the moment because there was a lot of stake in the final and it’s just very important to not get ahead of yourself and treat each point one at a time which I think that’s what I managed to do very well.”