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Emma Raducanu has revealed she generously "gifted" her historic U.S. Open trophy to the Lawn Tennis Association, as "a special token of appreciation" for the support she receives from the sport's national governing body.
Photos of the 18-year-old cradling her prize in New York were splashed across newspapers across the globe, but Raducanu had no plans of taking the replica trophy home to sit on the mantelpiece back in Bromley. Instead, she is having it shipped back to the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton so that the LTA can have it proudly displayed at its base.
Raducanu revealed the classy gesture after her 6-3, 6-4 win over Ana Bogdan in Cluj-Napoca, where she was back to her clinical best to progress to her first WTA quarterfinal at the Transylvania Open.
"It’s not at home, if you want to see it, it’s at the NTC," Raducanu said of her trophy in Thursday's post-match interview. "The LTA have done so much for me, I wanted them to have it as a sign and a big thank you for everything they've done, helping me through the young ages. They took control in my development. So, it’s a little gift. I think they’ve done a lot for me so it was just a token of appreciation. A special one."
Before her breakthrough this year — which included winning £1.8million in prize money at the U.S. Open — Raducanu had long been touted as a future talent for British tennis and began attending LTA camps since she was 10 years old. She has also been part of the governing body's scholarship program for three years, which includes up to £80,000 in grants every year, plus coaching and analysis, nutritionists, physiotherapists and medical expenses.
In a statement, the LTA confirmed that, though the trophy had yet to arrive, it was "honoured" by the gesture and hoped "a new generation of young players will be inspired by seeing the trophy when it arrives at the NTC."
Raducanu's run in the Transylvania Open ended on Friday when she lost 6-2, 6-1 to fellow teenager Marta Kostyuk, denying her the chance to face her idol Simona Halep in the semifinals.