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THE CHAMPIONSHIPS


July 3, 2021


Emma Raducanu


Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference


E. RADUCANU/S. Cirstea

6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just tell me how it feels, what your emotions are, after that sort of experience?

EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, my emotions were I just couldn't put them into words really. I was so overwhelmed. The last point, I kind of just dropped my racquet and fell to the floor. It was just also instinctive and in the moment. I had no idea what just happened.

Right now I'm on such a buzz and such a high. Yeah, I have my team who are with me in the bubble. We're all just having a great time. We're sticking to the same routines. Yeah, having a really good time here.

Q. I wanted to ask you to describe sort of what the feelings and sensations were just first stepping out into that court with that crowd for that match today.

EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I knew Sorana was a very tough opponent. I just thought that I -- I mean, playing on Court 1 at Wimbledon is what you dream of. Not many people get the opportunity to. I was like, Wow, this is such an experience, such an opportunity.

I just thought, Well, I'm just going to go out there and have fun. I really think I did. Some of the points, I'd never played such good tennis in some of the points (smiling). I was just having so much fun.

I also wanted to say that Sorana is an incredible opponent, like, I respect her so much. All that she's done in her career, I mean, she's had a really long career. I remember watching her when I was growing up, and I was younger. I think she put up an incredible fight, as well.

I mean, we had some great battles, like, in terms of some of the points. Yeah, I just want to congratulate her on playing the level. But also definitely she would have wanted to win. I mean, one of us had to do it. I'm sure we'll play again in the future.

Q. Obviously your parents were there watching you today. Have you heard from them since you won? Have you heard from any of your school friends? What do they make of the fact at 18 you've done this at Wimbledon?

EMMA RADUCANU: It's so crazy.

Well, my parents were here, so I spotted them pretty early on actually. I've turned all my notifications off on my phone. I just know whenever my phone buzzes, it's like Apple News telling me what's going on (smiling).

I have actually received a few emails from my school teachers. My math teacher emailed me today congratulating me. It's just been great to receive messages from my schoolmates as well. They have been texting me.

Yeah, I mean, I can't wait to see them once I'm done here really.

Q. What have your parents said about how well you played today?

EMMA RADUCANU: I called my dad on my osteo's phone after the match. He didn't reply. He didn't answer. I'm sure I'll speak to them later tonight (smiling).

Q. You mentioned on court that your parents said to you about packing too much kits. I wondered if you managed to speak to them about that, have a jibe back at them yet?

EMMA RADUCANU: I'm sure I'll get them on that later when I call.

But it was nice. I went into the changing rooms. Yeah, they were happy to help me out with some laundry. I'll get that sorted today and Monday I'll have a fresh kit ready to go.

Q. I read that two of your idols in tennis are Li Na and Simona Halep, who both are from countries of your ancestry in Romania and China. How much do you trace those tennis traditions? Also being multicultural, your family having the immigrant mentality, has that helped you in terms of finding your drive or purpose, whatever it may be, in the sport?

EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I think it's really such a coincidence that those are two of my favorite players that I try to model my game after. I happen to have a connection to both those countries. I think it's definitely helped me, the mentality that both of them bring. They both come from very hard-working countries.

On my mum, she's always instilled a lot of, like, discipline, respect for other people into me. I think having parents like I do, they always push me. They have high expectations. I've always tried to live up to that.

And I hope I did them proud this week. I'm going to keep trying to go, keep going.

Q. You see that work ethic in your parents. What do they do for a living?

EMMA RADUCANU: They're both in finance, yeah.

Q. When you stepped out on court, you had a big smile, your arm in the air. You looked like you'd done this a million times. Were you not nervous at all?

EMMA RADUCANU: I think yesterday I came out here and I sat courtside for about five minutes. They let me to get a feel for the court, which I think was very valuable because when I went out there today, I sort of knew what to expect a little bit.

And once again, I thought if I'm not going to enjoy Court 1 at Wimbledon, home crowd, like what are you going to enjoy? This is the cherry at the top of tennis.

I was just so excited. When I heard the crowd just roar for the first time, I was like, Wow, they're so behind me. I was just feeding off of their energy. I'm just so excited I get to play in front of them again.

Q. What is going on at your school that's so special? Dina Asher-Smith a few years above you, do you know her at all?

EMMA RADUCANU: No, I don't know her because she left the year that I joined. My school, I mean, they've been so incredible and supportive. Whenever I wanted to go and travel or compete, even a training block somewhere, they've let me go. They also support me when I'm away with sending me work. The teachers have always cut me a lot of slack, I would say, when I come back. I get, like, delays for tests and stuff.

I'm really, really grateful for all of their support in the seven years I've had at Newstead.

Q. You played on Court 1 today, spoke about how special that was. We don't know the lineup for Monday yet. If you got the opportunity to play on Centre Court, what would that mean to you? Do you think you'd be overawed by that atmosphere or take it in your stride like you did today?

EMMA RADUCANU: It would mean a lot to me to play on Centre Court. I think that's what everyone dreams of, Centre Court, especially being a Brit. I would be so grateful for that opportunity.

I mean, from my perspective, I would love to go out there and try to embrace the crowd like I did today. But every day is a new one. We'll see what happens. I'm really, really up for it, whatever happens, though.

Q. What were your observations of how Coco Gauff carried herself when she made a run here two years ago, and what your thoughts have been about her game and her maturity since, whether it's affected you in any way?

EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I think what Coco did here two years ago was quite spectacular. To come out on such big courts and straightaway, straight off the bat receive all of the attention that she did following, I think she's handled it all very, very well. So, yeah, big respect to her about that.

I think her game, you know, she's a very powerful player, unbelievable athlete. I think as an opponent she'd be very, very difficult to play.

Q. What are your parents' first names? I know you obviously won 115,000 today, a great amount of money, which may go on coaching and anything else. Are you going to treat yourself?

EMMA RADUCANU: My dad's name is Ian, and my mom's name is Renee.

I think the first thing that I would do is take my team out and treat them for a meal. I think they have supported me so much throughout the years. It's not always been easy. I think they definitely, definitely deserve a nice meal out. Yeah, we would have a great evening.

Q. Your experience here, your matches here, has it surprised you the level of tennis that your opponents have played and the level of tennis that you've played?

EMMA RADUCANU: I think all of my opponents have been extremely difficult for me to play. They all have their strengths.

I think today Sorana, as I said, I really, really respect the way that she competes and fights, also her game. It was very difficult for me. I thought, like, 3-Love, 40-Love, then she came back and came out with big serves on the big points. Yeah, hitting the ball very close to the lines. So it was difficult for me.

I didn't think I did much wrong, to be honest. Yeah, I mean, you don't get to where she is in her career without producing, without fighting and pushing through those tough moments. I have a lot of respect for her. As I said, I watched her growing up. To play her is a great experience for me.

Q. You're a wild card. You're also now the youngest British woman, last 16 player, in the Open Era, which is an impressive achievement at 18. Can you start to dream of something even more special now? Now you're into the second week. Can you start thinking what might be possible in the future?

EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I didn't know that was an actual stat or a thing.

Yeah, it's incredible. I'm so grateful for this wild card. Honestly, I just wanted to make the most out of it, try to show that I earned it, try to make the most out of it. I'm really grateful for the All England Club's support in taking a chance on me.

And the way that I'm approaching my matches is each time I'm thinking to myself, Why not? Like today, I was like, Someone has to be in the second week, why not me (laughter)? I think that's how I'm approaching it.

I'm just trying to stay here as long as possible. As I said, I'm just having such a blast. Everything is so well taken care of that it's such a pleasure to be here.

Q. The hype is going to build now. You're going to be a star for the next few days. How do you cope with that?

EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I coped by giving my phone to my osteo. That's how I cope (laughter).

I think just keeping it like a tight-knit group with me and my team. They've been so supportive and so great this week, everything has been so comfortable for me. Yeah, we're having a great time.

Q. You had some incredible shot-making early in the second set. When you hit some of those crazy winners, how does it feel to be winning with style points?

EMMA RADUCANU: If you ask any of my team, I think they would say, She doesn't run for balls. If ever there was a time to start running, that was today. I'm happy that it paid off (smiling).

I couldn't believe some of them myself. I think playing on Court 1, you're definitely inspired. You do things maybe you don't normally do. Yeah, I was having fun just chasing those balls. It's probably the first time I enjoyed chasing the balls. Maybe that's something that I can take on and continue.

Q. You're still a student or you finished, you're just waiting to find out your final exam scores?

EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I took my exams in April, end of April. I'm waiting. Results day is mid August sometime.

Q. In terms of the question you were asked about the attention you might be receiving. Things obviously are very different and unusual this year with the bubble. Do you think that sort of isolation maybe is a good thing for you, a British player doing well at Wimbledon? Is it possible that having the arrangement this year might be helping be in a cocoon from all of that?

EMMA RADUCANU: I think in a way it's only my third bubble, so I'm also very new to this. I think that until now, I mean, everything is set up so well, so comfortable. In a way maybe it does help being in this own little world and bubble, that you don't really go outside or see anyone.

Me and my team are really just having dinner together. Everything is just in a really tight and supportive group. I mean, I've got no complaints about the bubble. I really like it actually.

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