Emma Raducanu rose from modest beginnings to win the 2021 US Open, becoming the first ever qualifier to claim a Grand Slam women’s singles title. The 18-year-old is managing her $2.5 million winnings in a similarly modest fashion.
In an interview with BBC, Raducanu said she will allow her parents to manage her US Open prize money — and she hasn’t even checked to see if the funds hit her bank account yet. Once the money arrives, Raducanu assures it’ll go toward advancing her already burgeoning tennis stardom.
“I will just leave that to my parents,” said Raducanu, the world’s 23rd-ranked player. “They can take that for me.”
“I haven’t done anything or bought anything yet,” she added. “I know tennis is an expensive sport. From everything, travel and expenses. It’ll probably go towards that. I don’t really think of the money side of that. I know there are a lot of taxes and expenses.”
Raducanu may not have incurred any lofty expenses since her Sept. 12 win over Leylah Fernandez, but she’s still taking advantage of the spotlight a US Open title provides. The Britain native attended Monday’s Met Gala in New York alongside fellow sports stars such as Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Stephen Curry and Russell Westrbrook.
On Thursday Raducanu returned to her hometown of Bromley, bringing her back to Britain for the first time since becoming the country’s first Grand Slam women’s singles champion in over 44 years. The celebration, however, didn’t quite match the magnitude of Raducanu’s accomplishment.
“My mum made some really good homemade dumplings but there was nothing crazy or over the top,” Raducanu said.
Raducanu has enjoyed a lowkey but productive return to Britain. She spoke about her US Open win with Boris Johnson over the phone, telling the U.K. prime minister she hopes her success will accelerate the game’s growth within the country. Raducanu also rewatched her US Open final win and, for the first time, felt the spine-tingling nerves her 3.4 million television viewers had live.
“I actually re-watched the final and tried to relive a couple of the moments and remember how it felt, so it is sinking in a little more,” Raducanu said. “It’s funny because when I was watching it, it almost feels like that’s not me that was playing and pulling off some of those shots, it feels like it’s someone else. I knew exactly what was going to happen but still it’s a very tense moment and, re-watching it, I was really proud of how I came through some tough moments and also the [medical] timeout at the end – I didn’t realise how stressful that was on TV compared to live.”
Raducanu told the BBC she hopes to place her US Open trophy “front and center” somewhere in her home and might create a “nice display” for it. $2.5 million can undoubtedly pay for all the shelving supplies she needs, so perhaps that will be her first purchase as a Grand Slam winner — if her parents grant permission.