Tennis Club 'buzzing' after member's role in Raducanu victory
- Credit: Steve Abbott
Junior members' of Stowmarket Lawn Tennis Club stayed up late on Saturday night to watch Emma Raducanu's historic win in the US open and cheer on one of their own, who has had a key role supporting her this summer.
Andrew Richardson was brought in by 18-year-old Raducanu's father to coach the rising star ahead of the US Open and was a key part in her success in the tournament - where she won the Ladies' Final at Flushing Meadows, against Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez.
Stowmarket Lawn Tennis Club chair, Sally Gooch said: "The club feels a special connection to Emma because Andrew Richardson, her childhood coach and the man who supported her this summer in the USA, is member of Stowmarket with his family.
"We added to the thousands of congratulatory messages to him as soon as the match finished, Stowmarket Lawn Tennis Club was buzzing with excitement."
On Sunday morning the club was able to continue with the celebrations as 100 members and their families arrived at their courts in Iliffe Way to take part in the Annual Championship tournament, which was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Children and teenagers at the club were left feeling inspired after watching Raducanu's triumph, Ruby Melero, 10, said " Emma has inspired me to believe that, if you set your heart on something and work hard enough, you can achieve your goals."
Rory Flanagan, aged nine, who was the winner of his class in the tournament, said: "Watching Emma this summer, knowing she played in the same competitions I am competing in now, makes me believe that I can one day lift those trophies."
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Admiring Raducanu's tactics and calm mentality on Saturday night was Charlie Barber-Lomax, 16, who said: "Watching Emma play and win on Saturday is an inspiration for young people like me.
"She showed the importance of strategically managing your play style and keeping level headed, both very important in the modern game."
During the pandemic, coronavirus regulations meant Stowmarket Lawn Tennis Club was closed for 23 weeks in 2020 with membership falling from 217 to 166.
However, things are now on the up with membership levels now at 315, with the club saying that all over the country tennis is "booming".
At the weekend the Ipswich Star reported that Emma Raducanu won the Ladies' Single competition on the British Tour in Felixstowe in May this year.
If you are feeling inspired to give tennis a try you find out where to play in Suffolk and North Essex by searching on the LTA website - lta.org.uk.