Emma Raducanu, US Open winner, finds new fans in China

A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Meanwhile in China newsletter, a three-times-a-week update exploring what you need to know about the country’s rise and how it impacts the world. Iscriviti qui.

Hong Kong China has a new sweetheart: 18-anni US Open winner Emma Raducanu.

The British tennis player defeated Canadian Leylah Fernandez in a straight-set victory on Saturday, becoming the youngest grand slam winner since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004.
Raducanu, who was born in Canada to a Chinese mother and a Romanian father, spoke about her Chinese background in an interview before the final. “Having a Chinese mom, she definitely instilled from a young age hard work, disciplina,” lei disse.
    She added that she took inspiration from now-retired Chinese tennis player Li Na, the former World No. 2, e “just the way she was such a fierce competitor.
      And following her victory on Sunday, she addressed her fans in Mandarin. “Ciao a tutti, I’d like to say thank you,” lei disse. “I hope you liked watching my tennis. I’m very, very happy right now … Grazie, ti amo!”
        Emma Raducanu holds up the US Open championship trophy after winning the tennis tournament on September 11 in New York.

        She immediately won over new fans in China, who praised her performance on the court as well as her pride in her heritage. Many also praised her Mandarin message, delighting in hercutenortheastern accenther mother is originally from the city of Shenyang, in northeastern Liaoning province.
        Her grandma in Shenyang must be proud of her, and we people in Shenyang are also proud of her,” said one user on the Chinese platform Weibo.
          Her victory trended on Weibo; one hashtag, “18-year-old ethnic Chinese young player wins US open championship,” è stato visto più di 200 milioni di volte, while the video of her Mandarin message has been viewed more than a million times.
          British player Emma Raducanu lies on the court after defeating Leylah Fernandez, of Canada, a settembre 11 in New York.

          Chinese official media also celebrated her win and highlighted her Chinese roots. State-run tabloid Global Times reported that Raducanu wasvery interested in Chinese culture,” and that she visited Shenyang often to see her grandmother and other relatives. State media noted that the young star also plays table tennis, and would sometimes practice at a local Shenyang table tennis gym while visiting.
          My mom’s side of the family, when I go over to China, they are so mentally resilient,” said Raducanu in a previous interview, secondo to state-owned China Daily.It’s like nothing can bring them down. I would say I take a big part of my inspiration from her.
          Tennis has boomed in popularity in China in the past decade, in no small part due to Li Na’s success on the world stage. Li’s victory at the 2011 French Open was watched by 116 million television viewers in China alone, boosting the development of the game in the world’s most populous nation. The Women’s Tennis Association hosted nine events in China in 2019, up from two in 2008.
          Di 2014, China had invested hundreds of millions of dollars to launch the Wuhan Open, a tennis tournament held in Li’s hometown. Li’s victory wasthe new frontier for tennis in China, a new era,” said Fabrice Chouquet, co-tournament director of the Wuhan Open, nel 2016.
            Adesso, Raducanu’s spectacular win may inspire a new generation of Chinese tennis players.
            I will show this video to my daughter, sperando (Emma) can be her idol,” one user commented under Raducanu’s post-match interview, which has garnered millions of views on Weibo.

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