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Emma Raducanu names Li Na and Simona Halep as her role models, says she is "very proud" of her Chinese heritage

Emma Raducanu at 'The Homecoming' event organized by the LTA
Emma Raducanu at 'The Homecoming' event organized by the LTA
Gauri Awasthi
ANALYST

In a recent interview with CGTN Sports Scene, Emma Raducanu spoke at length about her 2021 US Open triumph, her multi-ethnic heritage, and her tennis role models. The 18-year-old revealed that she looks up to two-time Grand Slam champions Li Na and Simona Halep, with whom she also shares her Chinese and Romanian ancestry.

Raducanu even got a congratulatory message from Halep following her win at Flushing Meadows, and she highlighted how much she loves the Romanian's style of play.

"I got a message from Simona Halep on direct message and it meant a lot to receive a note from her," Raducanu said. "She's achieved great things and she's one of my role models that I've watched growing up. I love the way she plays."

Emma Raducanu then proceeded to heap praise on Li Na's athleticism and mental fortitude.

"Also, Li Na is one of my idols," the Brit said. "I think the way she used to play was extremely aggressive and she had a great physicality that I'm still working towards. I think the mental strength she possessed is something I've always watched growing up and I hope I'm implementing it in my own game."

Emma Raducanu went on to talk about her Chinese heritage and how the values derived from the culture have inspired her to work hard and be resilient. In that context she particularly mentioned her cousin, whom she has always seen studying diligently during her visits to China.

Raducanu's mother often reminds her of that cousin whenever she goes through a tough time.

"I'm very proud of my heritage," the teenager said. "I think my mom, with the Chinese culture, has a very good work ethic and is extremely hard-working. Going to China and seeing how my cousin would study 12-13 hours a day and would never complain; whenever I was having a tough time my mom would always remind me of that."
"It's very inspiring to see how hard-working and resilient they are [the Chinese]," Raducanu added. "I think it's just bouncing back from tough times or losses and not complaining, not dwelling on it and getting back up - that is something that my mom has shown me and that all my relatives back in China have also shown me."

The teenager further revealed that she finds it "cool" to have Mandarin as a "secret language" in which she can talk with her mother, without letting her dad or anyone else understand their conversation.

US Open champion Emma Raducanu is a woman of many talents πŸ—£The 18-year-old sends a message to her Chinese fans πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³@EmmaRaducanu | #USOpen https://t.co/V7xjxy8f10
"When I speak to my mom I switch between Mandarin and English," Raducanu continued. "I think it's actually really cool because I get to have a secret language with my mom whenever I dont want my dad or anyone else to understand."
"I speak to my grandma on my dad's side in Romanian," she added. "I just learnt it by needing to communicate with my relatives. I never really learnt it physically like at school."

"My favorite subject was maths" - Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu has risen to a career-high ranking of No. 22 after the US Open
Emma Raducanu has risen to a career-high ranking of No. 22 after the US Open

Emma Raducanu finished high school just months ago, and during the interview she took the opportunity to explain why mathematics was her favorite subject. Raducanu described herself as a "numbers person" before revealing that the challenging nature of math problems gave her an adrenaline rush.

"My favorite subject was maths by far," the 18-year-old said. "I think that I'm more of a numbers person and also just the problem-solving aspect I absolutely loved it. Also trying to figure out a way around the problem. The math was getting pretty challenging towards the end of my high school so I just loved trying to work out the puzzle and it gave me the thrills and adrenaline which I love."

Edited by Musab Abid
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