Even if you don’t follow tennis, chances are that you have heard about Emma Raducanu over the past few days. The 18 year old British tennis star who only made her WTA debut three months ago at Wimbledon, has just made history by becoming the first qualifier ever, men or women, to have won the US Open.
Raducanu, after her winning streaks of 9 matches (including 3 qualifying ones), continued her dream run of not dropping a set and won against Leylah Annie Fernandez with 6-4, 6-3.
Raducanu became recognized almost overnight after her appearance at Wimbledon — tennis fans worldwide and international media fell in love with her unmissable raw talent, endearing mannerism and most importantly, the most unassuming smile that simply sparks joy.
What’s also to be noted though, is the teenager’s rising stardom in spheres outside of athletic sports.
On 7 September, two days before she went on to win the US Open Semi Final, Raducanu made her first major fashion debut with a candid interview spread on British Vogue (the article appeared online as well as in the magazine’s October 2021 issue), completed with a photoshoot where the starlet is seen dressed in the season’s hottest frocks from top designers such as Valentino.
For an 18 year old who has risen to fame so quickly with no prior fashion background, Raducanu seemed a natural on set and looked incredibly poised and sophisticated in an array of runway looks from Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton.
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She has already been dubbed the “billion-dollar girl” by British media, and was predicted to soon have cross-over power like Serena Williams if she continues to perform professionally. With her innate good looks and approachable, down-to-earth personality, there is no question that Raducanu is the rapidly rising sports personality with immense commercial power. Raducanu has already proven her likability on social medial — she currently has over 800,000 followers on Instagram alone at time of publishing, a drastic increase from a mere few thousand 3 months ago when she debuted at Wimbledon.
Marketing and PR experts say that Raducanu’s US Open prize money (at a cool $2,500,000) is only going to be the start of her being recognized as a global personal brand — at such a young age, the Grand Slam winner has a long journey ahead of her to grow into a true global celebrity with financial success to follow. She has already been compared to the likes of Maria Sharapova (The tennis ace was Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years, peaking at $30 million in 2015) and Serena Williams (the tennis star has nearly 20 corporate partners with a net worth currently estimated at $240 million, and is known to be very involved in fashion, music and the entertainment industry in general). With a multicultural background, Raducanu is said to be welcomed by the young netizens predominantly made up by Gen Z and Millennials.
I don’t know about you, but I’m watching the space for Emma Raducanu.