Teenaged British tennis star Emma Raducanu burst into international prominence in the past year. After reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, Raducanu became first the female British player to capture a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade in 1977 when she won the U.S. Open women's singles title.
Amazingly, Raducanu rose to the peak of women's tennis without attending one of the tennis academy factories and completely immersing herself into the game 24/7. In fact, she credits her parents for enabling Raducanu to experience the normal life of a teenager while still climbing up the tennis ladder to rank among the elite players in the world.
Born in Toronto, Raducanu's family relocated from Canada to England when she was the age of two, settling in Bromley, an outer borough of London. There, while pursuing tennis, Raducanu maintained regular attendance at her local school, which she believes was allowing her to live a normal lifestyle and not creating an environment where tennis completely defined who she was a person.
"I think staying in school has definitely helped me in terms of having another set of friends I can come into," Raducanu told WTATennis.com. "It was a different way of life. It's a bit of an escape as well for me. To have another thing going alongside my tennis, it's kept my mind occupied."
A high achiever, Raducanu completed her A-levels in math and economics prior to her successful summer run at Wimbledon. Raducanu is an A student. In the past, she's taken time away from the tennis tour in order to focus her attention on schoolwork.
"When you train, you only train a certain amount of hours a day," Raducanu said. "You've still got a lot of time to fill. It's definitely helped to keep my mind active."
She's certain that this devotion to education is making her a better tennis player.
"I find it's actually helped me with my on-court career as well in the way that I can absorb a lot of information," Raducanu said. "I feel that on court I'm more tactically astute than some others."