Emma Raducanu made history over the weekend as the first-ever qualifier to win a Major title at the US Open, and the first player in history to lift the trophy during their second appearance at Grand Slam level. It was also the 18-year-old’s first title of her career, so there was understandably a lot to celebrate about her unprecedented triumph in Flushing Meadows. Former British No 1 Tim Henman has now shared some of the details from Raducanu’s after-party, revealing they were up until 4.45am.
Raducanu achieved the seemingly-impossible at Flushing Meadows as she came through three rounds of qualifying and seven main-draw matches without dropping a set to win the US Open.
She was the first qualifier in history, man or woman, to make a Major final, let alone win the title, and the first British woman to pick up a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade in 1977.
As is the tradition for most players who win one of the biggest titles in tennis, the 18-year-old held a party to mark the occasion of her historic win on Saturday night, and former British No 1 Henman has revealed all of the details from the celebrations, that went on until the early hours of the morning.
“After Emma had done all her media commitments and photos we got a minibus back to the city,” he said, as reported by The Times.
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He also shared that the 18-year-old didn’t drink, with the legal drinking age in America being 21, and instead rounded off the perfect night with sushi and a party in a New York hotel suite, as well as a song that has become something of an anthem for her US Open win.
The retired British player continued: “Someone put on Sweet Caroline and I’ve got this great video of everyone singing along to it.
“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.”
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Henman had been courtside for all of Raducanu’s matches throughout the US Open, and appeared to become teary-eyed when she paid tribute to him in her on-court interview following her semi-final victory over 17th-seed Maria Sakkari.
The former British star was in New York to cover the tournament for Prime Video, and received jibes from his fellow pundits who noted his hoarse voice and remarked that he had been screaming in support of the Bromley teenager.
Raducanu has since stepped up her celebrations a notch, receiving a last-minute invitation to the prestigious Met Gala and taking to the red carpet in head-to-toe Chanel.
While she is lapping up her success and previously said she is happy to live in the moment and enjoy the celebrations, Henman – a former semi-finalist at the US Open back in 2004 – still thinks it will be a while before the weight of her massive achievement really sets in.
“It’s going to take a long time for the victory, I think, to sink in, for her to able to understand what she has achieved,” he said.
“She’s been overcoming big hurdles day after day. And then what’s been astonishing is how she’s taken it in her stride.”
Despite her newfound level of superstardom, Raducanu remains humble as she admitted on Good Morning America she was happy to exceed her parents’ high expectations, and revealed her first purchase with her staggering £1.8m prize money cheque would be a pair of AirPods, which cost just £160.
“They are my toughest critics, they are very hard to please but I got them with this one,” she said of her parents while appearing on the US daytime show.
“It was really nice to talk to them after I won. They were just so happy and proud of me.”
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