Watch: 9-year-old Emma Raducanu on court with childhood rival Sonay Kartal

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Emma Raducanu is, without a doubt, one of the brightest prospects on the women’s circuit. The teenager rose to prominence after an incredible win at the 2021 US Open, having started as a qualifier.

A video has now surfaced of the Brit on social media in which a nine-year-old Raducanu can be seen practicing with countrywoman Sonay Kartal.

Emma Raducanu

Raducanu and Kartal, who were childhood rivals on the tennis court, continue to follow each other’s exploits. The latter spoke highly of the newly-crowned US Open champion following her win last year, admitting that Raducanu has inspired her as well.

After US Open success, Emma Raducanu has continued to struggle

Now aged 19, Emma Raducanu will lead Great Britain in the Billie Jean Cup qualifiers against Czech Republic later this week. Friend and one-time rival, Sonay Kartal, has also been included in the side.

The Toronto-born player, who became the youngest-ever to win an under-18 ITF tournament at the age of 13, made her WTA debut last June.

With her win at Flushing Meadows last year, Raducanu became the first British woman since Virginia Wade to win a Grand Slam.

Emma Raducanu

However, she has had a poor season post her maiden Grand Slam triumph, winning just four matches.

The youngster’s inability to continue her winning run has attracted criticism from detractors. But Raducanu remains firmly focussed on her game, as is evident from her recent interview with The Telegraph.

“Maybe people watch the news or follow social media and see me sign this or that agreement,” she said. “But I think it’s pretty misleading because in reality I train at least six hours a day and spend that many hours at the club.

“I think it’s unfair to me, but it’s something with which I have learned to deal with,” she added. “My commitments with sponsors are quite limited. It’s three or four days every three months, so it’s not a lot of time.”

Raducanu has also found support from Canadian Eugenie Bouchard on Twitter.

Raducanu will next be playing on clay on the tour for the first time when she makes her debut at the 2022 Stuttgart Open, starting on 16 April.

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