Emma Raducanu’s “very special” US Open win has presented British tennis with a “huge opportunity” to attract more people to the sport, says three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray.
The 18-year-old became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title in 44 years when she beat Leylah Fernandez in the final.
She also became the first qualifier in history to claim a major.
“It was incredible what she did there,” former US Open champion Murray said.
“What she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and gives hopefully the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalise on that and get more and more kids involved in the sport.
“It’s great what she did and a huge opportunity for British tennis now.”
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Murray, 34, said like many others involved in British tennis he “knew she was extremely good” and that Raducanu’s run to the fourth round at Wimbledon was a telling “glimpse of how good she could be”.
“I’ve spent a little bit of time around her on the practice court, but more so in the same building, training close to each other, and watching what she’s doing, and she’s obviously really, really good,” the former world number one said.
She’s burst into our consciousness’
Former British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray echoed her son Andy’s comments, saying that Raducanu’s victory could be a game-changing moment for the sport in the UK.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, she said: “She’s smart, she’s engaging. She is going to be a wonderful poster girl for sport and for tennis
“I’m absolutely sure that what she’s done and the way that she engages is going to attract many more girls into tennis.
“She’s burst into our consciousness. It’s a huge opportunity for British tennis to really take advantage of that and open the sport up to as many girls as possible.
“We need to take the sport to new audiences, places where it currently doesn’t exist and where there’s very little of it.”
Former player and BBC tennis presenter Sue Barker, who won the French Open aged 20 in 1976, said the Lawn Tennis Association has to “harness” Raducanu’s win.
“She will identify with all these kids, she will be the idol of these youngsters growing up,” she said.
Murray progresses in Rennes Open
Andy Murray spoke about Raducanu’s US Open triumph in a news conference at the Rennes Open where he cruised past Germany’s Yannick Maden to reach the second round.
Fifth seed Murray, who was given a wildcard to play in the second-tier ATP Challenger Tour event, took just 74 minutes to beat Maden 6-3 6-1.
It was the 34-year-old’s first match since going down in five sets to world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round of the US Open.
Murray next faces either qualifier Manuel Guinard or Roman Safiullin.
Meanwhile, fellow Briton Heather Watson was beaten 6-1 6-3 in the first round of the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz in Slovenia by Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.