Emma Raducanu plays first match back in Britain since US Open triumph as 19-year-old sensation delights sell-out crowd at Royal Albert Hall
- Emma Raducanu’s first game back in Britain was held at the Royal Albert Hall
- US Open champion was greeted with wonderful reception on home turf again
- 19-year-old plays Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania in an exhibition game
- Raducanu became first British woman in 44 years to win Grand Slam singles title
Emma Raducanu was greeted by an outpouring of love and support in her first match back in Britain since the teen sensation’s US Open victory.
The first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title for 44 years, 19-year-old Raducanu captured the nation’s attention en route to her fairytale triumph back in September when she was just 18.
And on Sunday afternoon, she was given the opportunity to perform in front of his home fans in an exhibition held in the grand surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall.
Emma Raducanu played against her close friend Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the exhibition
Raducanu became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam tournament since 1977
She was greeted by rapturous applause at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday afternoon
Raducanu played against Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania in the Champions Tennis exhibition that sold out almost immediately.
Such was the appetite to see her in action, that the game was televised on the BBC and the venue was full of supporters cheering her on.
Raducanu’s life has been turned upside down since her jaw-dropping US Open victory, capped off with an impressive straight sets win against fellow teen star Leylah Fernandez.
She is favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year and become the first woman to do so since Zara Phillips 15 years ago.
The powerful baseline player was ranked 361 in the world in June, completed her A-levels in August and won her maiden Grand Slam the following month.
The teenager pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament
The 19-year-old has had mixed fortunes since her historic victory at Flushing Meadows
Following that historic win, she rose to No 19 in the world and banked £1.3million for lifting the trophy.
Raducanu was names the Sunday Times’ Sportswoman of the Year and has had to deal with an overwhelming amount of attention her success has bestowed.
Raducanu has enjoyed mixed fortunes on the tour since her Flushing Meadows glory, losing early at Indian Wells and going out in the quarter-finals in Romania before being beaten in the first round of the Linz Open last week by Wang Xiyu.
The Bromley-based star took some time off and has been working hard on her development.
She completed her official tournament schedule in Austria before a well-earned break in the Caribbean and has since been working on physical training.
The Brit played Gabriela Ruse at the Champion Tennis event on Sunday afternoon
Raducanu also recruited a new coach, Torben Beltz, having conducted an extensive search for the right fit.
Former British No 1, Annabel Croft pointed out that she is doing things in reverse, saying: ‘She’s going back to the beginning, doing it in reverse and going through her apprenticeship now.
‘It’s an extraordinary situation that most players she’s facing have three, four, maybe 10 years more experience than her.
‘Now she’s going to have to go through all these matches, where she’s going to have to learn about different situations, which will take time. She’s so young but I think she’s intelligent enough to cope with it.’