The tennis star takes on the Duchess of Cambridge in homecoming event
US Open champion Emma Raducanu enjoyed a game of tennis with a little less pressure as she faced the Duchess of Cambridge in a homecoming party at the National Tennis Center in the southwest from London.
The 18-year-old British sports superstar looked happy and relaxed as she took part in the session, hosted by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) youth program, with the royal.
The duo also teamed up to practice doubles and were joined on the court by Joe Salisbury, the US Open mixed doubles and men’s doubles champion, and wheelchair players Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid – who successfully defended their doubles title at the US Open.
Kate praised RaducanuS “seriously impressive” achievement in winning the women’s US Open title in New York earlier this month, ending the country’s 44-year wait for a women’s Grand Slam champion.
The duchess was dressed in her tennis gear – sneakers, skirt and sports top – as she chatted with players and showed off her own racket skills.
Before stepping onto the pitch, Kate told the champions: “Amazing guys, honestly kudos to all of you – it’s really impressive.”
Kate is the godmother of the LTA and Raducanu is a youth ambassador.
Sky’s Tom Parmenter, who was at the tennis center, asked Raducanu if she knew the Duchess had such a good forehand.
“Before I didn’t, but once we got out the Duchess was hitting the ball extremely well and after we warmed up she got right to the point.”
When asked about her plans for other competitions, the teenager said the improvement in her ranking meant new opportunities opened up for her.
“I think I’m still in the early stages of my physical development, so I don’t think I can play week after week like other players could, so I’m going to work on my physical development.
“But yes, these are exciting times where I can compete with the best on a regular basis now.”
She said she still feels like the same person but has had to make a few “adjustments” since winning.
Raducanu defeated Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium on September 11, winning a prize of $ 2.5million (£ 1.8million).
She has appeared on a number of US talk shows and even attended the Met Gala before heading home to celebrate with friends and family.