- A teenage tennis star said she was inspired by a former British number one who was commentating courtside.
- Emma Raducanu spotted Tim Henman who she described as “a big inspiration.”
- The 18-year-old said Henman told her to take it one point at a time as she served for match point.
Teenage tennis star Emma Raducanu said she was inspired by the sight of former men’s British number one Tim Henman as she served for match point in the US Open semifinal.
Raducanu defeated Maria Sakkari in straight sets to reach the final and became the first British woman in 44 years to reach a slam final.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live after the game, Raducanu said she was inspired by Henman who was providing commentary on the match from the sidelines.
As she began her service game for the match, she spotted Henman, who reached the US Open semifinal in 2004, and he provided crucial advice to her.
“Tim is honestly such a big inspiration, he was telling me to treat it one point at a time.
“In moments like this you definitely can’t get ahead of yourself and you need to stay present.
“I’m grateful to Tim for everything he has done for British tennis and for me,” she said.
Henman was ranked as men’s British number one for six consecutive years until he was succeeded by Andy Murray in 2005.
Despite never reaching a Grand Slam final, Henman became an inspiration for British tennis players and fans for years.
So revered is he in UK tennis circles that the grassy bank at Wimbledon is colloquially known as Henman Hill, and shouts of “Come on Tim” are still often heard during British tennis tournaments.