Emma Raducanu, currently ranked 22nd on the WTA list, is the first British woman to win a Grand Slam Single’s title since 1977, and now faced royalty on the court.
The 18-year-old had only just recently won her first-ever grand slam title at US Open.
Kate Middleton was there at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton to make a big welcome party for the Grand Slam winner. Kate, who is a patron of the Lawn Tennis Association, played Emma in a friendly doubles match.
The royal, all dressed up in a tennis uniform and brandishing her racket, was not the only one who joined the new British sports star, like fellow British US Open heroes Joe Salisbury, who won the mixed doubles, and Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, were also present.
She said: “Amazing guys, honestly. Congratulations.
“It’s been so nice for all of you to come back here in your home country to celebrate back home.”
Then the group made their way outside to the tennis courts, with the Duchess wasting no time to show off her tennis skills in front of the pro tennis players.
Kate’s love for tennis is well-known, as she is a regular at Wimbledon matches, her latest appearance being when she watched the women’s final when Ash Barty triumphed over Karolina Pliskova at Centre Court.
The royal congratulated the up-and-coming teen for her win at US Open, but Raducanu is much more than a tennis player. The teenager is not only a tennis icon but also has some presence in the fashion world, as she had just returned a dinner hosted by British Vogue and Tiffany & Co at London Fashion Week. She was also present at the prestigious Met Gala in New York.
At the event in London, she was among the many celebrities present, such as activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. She was also seen with world champion sprinter and double Olympic medallist Dina Asher-Smith, 25.
Her win at US Open even got the attention of the Queen, who sent a flurry of tributes to Raducanu after her win, such as an official note from her Balmoral holiday home.
On officially headed notepaper, Her Majesty said: “It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication.
“I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent, Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players.
“I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters.”
British tennis superstar Andy Murray has described Emma Raducanu as “very special” after her US Open triumph and has welcomed this massive boost to British tennis.
The three-time major champion said that his compatriots’ success in New York only proved what tennis insiders have already known for a while that she was “really, really good”.
Raducanu got her first-ever grand slam title after beating Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3.
The victory saw her become the first British woman to lift a major singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977.