How Tim Henman was Emma Raducanu's REAL 'inspiration'

How Tim Henman was Emma Raducanu's REAL 'inspiration'
How Tim Henman was Emma Raducanu's REAL 'inspiration'

As a former British number one, he was employed by Amazon Prime to provide courtside analysis on TV and watched Emma Raducanu throughout the US Open.

But it turns out that Tim Henman was also a secret mentor to the 18-year-old star during the tournament which saw her become the first British woman to win a grand slam singles title since 1977 on Saturday.

His support was a huge boost to Raducanu whose parents Ian and Renee could not be in New York because of strict Covid-19 rules in the US which meant they would have needed a special exemption visa to travel.

In recent weeks Raducanu has been training under new coach Andrew Richardson, who was a contemporary of Henman and even served as best man at his wedding to Lucy Heald in 1999 in Odiham, Hampshire.

The appointment came after she decided to part with her previous coach of three years Nigel Sears, who is the father of Sir Andy Murray's wife Kim, with whom the three-time Grand Slam winner has four children.

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Tim Henman points at Emma Raducanu (left) as she wins her US Open final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Saturday

Tim Henman points at Emma Raducanu (left) as she wins her US Open final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Saturday

Emma Raducanu holds the US Open championship trophy after defeating Leylah Fernandez in the singles final on Saturday

Emma Raducanu holds the US Open championship trophy after defeating Leylah Fernandez in the singles final on Saturday

Henman, 47, struggled to control his emotions during Saturday's match and he was the first person Raducanu looked at after winning the game - and he was seen pointing towards her before smiling at her coaching team.

He was audibly hoarse while giving his post-match analysis having cheered throughout for Raducanu, who became the first qualifier to reach a slam final and the first woman ever to win a title in as few as two tournaments.

Henman backed Raducanu to add more grand slam titles to her maiden victory, telling Amazon Prime: 'What she has achieved, second grand slam and the way she has gone about it, she will win more of these, she is that good.

'This is not some flash in the pan or fairy tale. She is playing top five tennis. Her world will be turned upside down but she has good people around her. It will be a hell of a ride if she can stay injury free.'

Henman - known as 'Tiger Tim' - said Raducanu had 'made it look ridiculously easy but it's been a bit closer than the scoreline has suggested' and praised her for her 'resilience', adding: 'It's an absolute joke, my legs are like jelly.'

Also cheering on Raducanu at Arthur Ashe Stadium was Virginia Wade, the last British woman to win both the US Open and a grand slam singles title 44 years ago – and she applauded Raducanu with a huge smile. 

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Raducanu has been training in recent weeks under new coach Andrew Richardson (circled), who was a contemporary of Henman and even served as best man at his wedding to Lucy Heald in 1999 in Odiham, Hampshire

Raducanu has been training in recent weeks under new coach Andrew Richardson (circled), who was a contemporary of Henman and even served as best man at his wedding to Lucy Heald in 1999 in Odiham, Hampshire

Emma Raducanu with her team - physio Will Herbert (left), Mr Richardson (second right) and agent Chris Helliar (far right)

Emma Raducanu with her team - physio Will Herbert (left), Mr Richardson (second right) and agent Chris Helliar (far right)

Raducanu said: 'It means so much to have Virginia here and also Tim. Just to have such British legends and icons for me to follow in their footsteps, it definitely helps and gave me the belief that I could actually do it.'

Speaking after her semi-final victory, Raducanu had also praised Henman, saying: 'Tim is honestly such a big inspiration. He has been helping me to treat one point at a time. You can't get ahead of yourself.'

The Amazon broadcast team were also heavily invested in Raducanu, having

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