Bromley residents have say they are “proud” and still “buzzing” for local girl Emma Raducanu one week on from her brilliant and historic tennis major win at the US Open.
She may be set to join the sporting elite, but 18-year-old Raducanu’s roots are set strongly in Bromley, growing up in the borough and returning there earlier this week following her recent success.
And the borough is still fizzling with excitement after the teen triumphed in the final of the US Open, around 3,460 miles from where she grew up in south east London.
We went out around Bromley and Orpington to speak to some of the people who lived there about Emma’s sudden rise and the boost it had given the area.
Daniel, 30, said he lives so close to Bromley Tennis Centre (where Emma trained) that he could throw a tennis ball at it.
The Direct Line employee said it was “nice to see something great locally.
“All you see on the news is the bad bits, so for someone from Orpington to do such great things is great to see.”
And Daniel said watching Emma’s rise made him think of the other young players in the area.
“My good friend actually has a younger teenage daughter playing tennis at the same club Emma did.
“What an inspiration Emma is, and it would amazing to see her go on to replicate her glory!”
Jenny, 40, also lives in Orpington and said it was “great for the area to have a role model.”
“We were all so happy when she won on Sunday, we’re still buzzing now. Emma’s clearly going on to great things.
Elderly resident Daphne said she was “so pleased” for the tennis player, adding that she was already proud of Orpington and that Emma’s success was great news for the area.
But she also added a word of caution: “I only hope that she doesn’t change.
“I hope she keeps her head, and doesn’t get swept up by the fame and money.
“It can be so easy to get cocky, and she’s this lovely girl from Orpington so I hope she stays the same.”
Bromley resident Debbie said she was actually supporting Raducanu’s opponent in the final as she hails from Canada.
She said: “It was tough to know who to support as they were both born in Canada and were both so good.
“I was cheering for Leylah Fernandez, but both are amazing and have shot to the top at the first asking.
“I think her success will be a great thing for the area. There’s already quite a strong passion for tennis in the area, and Emma will only grow that.
“She needs to stay focused though, to not let all the fame get to her. I hope so, and she seems focused and has a good family around her, so I think she will. I’m sure she’ll do well going forwards.”
Born in Canada to a Chinese mother and Romanian father, Emma moved to London when she was aged just two.
She started playing tennis at the age of five, attending Bickley Primary School followed by Newstead Wood School, a grammar school in Orpington.
Her rise to the top happened quickly. Emma’s WTA Tour debut in June 2021, coming into Wimbledon as a wildcar ranked outside the top 300.
The 18-year-old made headlines as she made the fourth round at her first attempt, and two months later, just one week ago today, she became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977.