U.S. Open champ Emma Raducanu is winning over fans with her youthful innocence and contagious smile.
Time reported Raducanu spent time after her win posing for pictures with fans as well as ball boys and girls on the court.
Asian representation!” says Grace Ma, 34, who draped herself in a British flag, even though she is Chinese American.
“It’s so inspiring to see somebody with your ethnicity make it. It’s so nice to see a new face.”
The 18-year old mother is Chinese and her father is Romanian. She was born in Canada, but moved to Great Britain with her family at the age of two.
“Hello everyone, I’d like to say thank you,” she said in Mandarin, according to CNN. “I hope you liked watching my tennis. I’m very, very happy right now … Thank you, I love you!”
Social media in China quickly responded. Video of her message has been viewed a million times.
“Her grandma in Shenyang must be proud of her, and we people in Shenyang are also proud of her,” said one Weibo user.
Raducanu defeated Filipina Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3. Fernandez played to the fans during her match, admitting she thrives on the energy the crowd gives her. Most of the New York crowd appeared to be for Fernandez, but Raducanu is quickly building fan support after her surprising rise from the qualifying round to U.S. Open champion.
She hopes to continue playing free and easy.
“I don’t feel absolutely any pressure,” she said to Time. “I’m just having a free swing at anything that comes my way. That’s how I faced every match here in the States. And it got me this trophy. So I don’t think I should change anything.”
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