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When did Emma Raducanu start playing tennis and when’s the best time to start?


Emma Raducanu holds her US Open 2021 trophy in New York (Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

US Open women’s singles champion Emma Raducanu has quickly becoming a household name.

After her major debut at Wimbledon, the British teenager made history at Flushing Meadows, becoming the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.

She’s received adulation from across the UK – even receiving messages from The Queen and The Duchess of Cambridge. That’s in addition to the rumours of a CBE, and a hefty prize fund.

But when did tennis’ new shining star first pick up a racket?

Here’s what we know.

When did Emma Raducanu start playing tennis?

As of September 2021, 18-year-old Emma is enjoying a career-best ranking, as World No. 23.

But her fairytale journey to the top began much earlier, around 2007/2008, as she began playing tennis at the age of five.

Stepping back for a moment: Emma was born on November 13, 2002 in Toronto, Canada.

Her mum Renee and dad Ian, who are Chinese and Romanian respectively, moved the family to Bromley, in South London, when Emma was two.

At age five, she first picked up tennis at Bromley Tennis Centre in Orpington.

The LTA has a full timeline of her career to date – saying that she’s been an ‘exciting prospect within British tennis for the last decade’.

Emma made her competition debut and began winning regional trophies aged just seven.

She was nine when she took her first national junior title, and aged 10 for her first junior international win.

At 14, Emma was a regular player for Great Britain – and she made her junior Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon.

In 2018, when she was 15, she ranked No. 1 in Britain’s junior table and also won the ITF Pro Circuit in China.

She then debuted in the world rankings at 885… before steadily climbing to her current position of 23.

Her 18th year was a big one: with her senior Wimbledon debut and the US Open win. Amazingly, she also achieved two A Levels: an A* in Maths and an A in Economics.

When’s the best age to start playing tennis?

When can you start playing tennis? (Picture: Getty)

Obviously, anyone at any age can pick up a tennis racket and start playing for fun, exercise or friendly competition.

But to become a competitive, professional player, do you need to start as young as Emma did?

Well, it’s generally known that pro players tend to start when they’re incredibly young – because it takes such a long time to perfect their game.

Many coaches recommend that children should start around age five or six.

Rafael Nadal was reportedly four when he first started training, while Andy Murray was practically still a toddler at age three.

Serena and Venus Williams were both around the age of three, too, reports say.

Iconic American tennis player Serena Williams started playing tennis as a small child (Picture: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

That said, it doesn’t always have to be such an early beginning. It’s also believed it’s a good time for kids to pick up a racket around the ages of seven or eight, too.

Roger Federer was said to be eight when he started with both tennis and football.

There are still plenty of years ahead for practice, playing junior tournaments and rising through the ranks.

But of course, if a youngster is interested in tennis as a hobby, they can pick it up at any age or stage.


MORE :
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MORE : ‘That’s insane!’ – Emma Raducanu’s amazing reaction to finding out she’s now world No.23


MORE : Emma Raducanu ‘could be given CBE by the Queen’ after US Open triumph

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