INTERNATIONAL: The new queen of tennis, 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, has it all to play for. Having stunned the sport by winning the US Open on Saturday, she’s not just become the first qualifier ever to win a grand slam tournament, but also the first British woman to lift a major tennis trophy since Virginia Wade in 1977. While she settles down after her historic win at Flushing Meadows, she’s finding the world at her feet.
Her astonishing US Open triumph could lead to a pot of gold worth over $25-million over the next two years and that could be just the start. Her mixed Romanian-Chinese heritage and an engaging personality make her what those sports marketing people like to call "brand gold".
Conrad Wiacek of Global Data says:
"I think what the actual victory does for her is it actually takes her beyond tennis, the lucrative sponsorship deals she'll get, just from being affiliated to tennis, so kit supply deal, racquet deal, there will be a trainer supplier, all of those sorts of things will come naturally but what her profile gives her now is a sort of spot beyond tennis. There's going to be a luxury car partner, there's going to be a fashion brand that's going to be interested, there's probably a perfume line that's going to be interested and so you are already building up that commercial footprint way beyond merely sport."
Tim Lopez of CSM Sport & Entertainment agrees:
"If she could make this Grand Slam the first of several, then she has as you say no limit in terms of how much she can achieve off the court. She's going to be hugely in demand already, but I think to sort of follow that up with sustained and continued success in the majors in tennis will see her rapidly become one of the most marketable athletes on the planet."
Raducanu is already a cover girl for British Vogue's October edition and major global brands representing everything from fashion to cars and jewelry will be queuing at the doors of her management company, IMG. With its global reach and exposure, tennis offers a road to riches for top female players. Of the world's 10 highest-paid sportswomen, nine play tennis.
PHOTO: INTERVIEWS WITH SPORTS FINANCE AND EXPERTS TIM LOPEZ AND CONRAD WIACEK ON RISE OF EMMA RADUCANU / STILL PHOTOS OF EMMA RADUCANU