Andy Murray knows how to turn up tennis’ popularity in Great Britain.
The three-time Grand Slam champion ignited tennis growth rising to world No. 1 and capturing his first Olympic gold medal in front of festive home fans at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Murray believes Emma Raducanu’s US Open title triumph can reignite tennis’ growth in Great Britain.
The two-time Olympic gold-medal champion has hit with Raducanu in the past and impressed with her game.
“It was incredible what she did there. I think for a lot of the people involved in British tennis, we knew she was extremely good,” Murray told the media after his Rennes Open first-round match. “She hadn’t competed much for the last sort of 18 months or so with school and coronavirus and those sorts of things, but I think at Wimbledon everyone sort of got a bit of a glimpse of how good she could be.”
The 18-year-old Raducanu defeated 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez to become the first qualifier—male or female—to win a Grand Slam singles title.
The teenager is the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles championship since Virginia Wade won the 1977 Wimbledon championship. Wade was on hand for many of Raducanu’s matches, including the final.
Murray believes Raducanu can be an ambassador for the sport in Great Britain.
“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. “But what she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and gives hopefully the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalize 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.”
Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood/USTA/US Open