The popularity of tennis has surged so much even US Open champion Emma Raducanu can't book a tennis court now she's back home in Bromley.
The teenage tennis sensation revealed she hasn't been able to find a free court to practice in since her stunning win inspired Britons to get into the sport.
Emma returned to her Kent home five days after making sporting history by winning the US Open – the first British woman to win a major title for 44 years since Virginia Wade lifted the Wimbledon trophy in 1977. She is also the first qualifier in history to lift a grand slam.
She told Good Morning Britain today: 'I can’t get a tennis court either. I still can't get a court. It means a lot that tennis is so popular now.' Shocked host Kate Garraway added: 'You can't even turn up going I'm Emma Raducanu give me the court?'
Emma also revealed she hasn't looked at her account balance since she banked a cheque for £1.8million ($2.5million) - over eight times her total previous career earnings - for her record-breaking win on Saturday. Agents have now predicted that top brands will be 'knocking down Emma's door' with endorsement offers worth tens of millions of pounds.
She said she would leave the money to her parents and added: 'I haven’t bought anything yet. I know tennis is an extremely expensive sport so the money will go towards that. I don’t really think of the money side of it. I know there are lots of taxes and expenses. I haven’t logged onto my bank, I’ve just been at home and in the moment.'
Emma watched her match with her parents last night and said she found watching it back 'more stressful' than actually playing. She added: 'I got home yesterday and it was really nice to spend time with my family. I watched the match last night on replay and it’s sinking it. It’s more stressful watching. When you’re playing you feel like you have more control. Some of the moments like the end and the time out they were nervous to watch.'
The teenager admitted she thought the slide which caused an open wound in her knee 'looked cool in slow motion' though. And on her appearance at the Met Gala she played down her achievements and added: 'The invite list is a lot more significant than myself. I had an amazing time there.'
Yesterday, Emma was greeted by her proud father five days after after her parents missed watching her triumph in New York in person because of Covid travel restrictions.
Emma Raducanu, 18, revealed she hasn't been able to find a free tennis court to practice since her stunning win inspired Britons to get into the sport
Emma watched her match with her parents last night and said it was 'more stressful' watching than it was actually playing. Pictured, with the US Open Championships trophy
She told Good Morning Britain: 'I can’t get a tennis court either. I still can't get a court. It means a lot that tennis is so popular now.' Shocked host Kate Garraway added: 'You can't even turn up going I'm Emma Raducanu give me the court?'
In a sweet photoshoot yesterday Ian, the motor behind Emma's tennis drive, lifted her arm victoriously aloft and then hugged his 18-year-old daughter - but her mother Renee did not come out to pose with the sports superstar.
The property is on a suburban cul-de-sac where she rallied with her father during lockdown as she studied for her A-Levels. Emma told reporters outside her home: 'It's a great feeling to be home. I've been away for seven weeks so it's nice to be back. It was nice [to hug her parents]. Nice to see them again.'
The smiling tennis star also said she was looking forward to relaxing but hasn't thought about any parties or reunions with friends. She said: 'I haven't thought of anything [going forward]. I'm just enjoying it and relaxing and recovering. We will make some plans.'
Her proud father said he was relieved to have her home and happily hugged Emma as they posed for photographers outside the family property. Her mother was also thought to have been at home, although she wasn't seen in photos.
Emma arrived in a black Range Rover, which was followed by another filled with suited security guards.
The reunion comes after it emerged Emma trademarked her name within hours of her US Open win in her first steps to becoming the 'first billion-dollar sports woman'.
UK-based lawyer Anthony Brierley applied to safeguard the words 'Emma Raducanu', 'Emma' and 'Raducanu' shortly after the 18-year-old's victory, reports The Sun.
Emma, who has been heralded as a 'sponsor's dream', is on course to become the highest earning female sports star of all time. It was also reported that the teenager laid the groundwork for her potential earnings aged 17, registering Harbour 6 Limited to manage her finances.
Her return home comes after a whirlwind few days following her incredible triumph in New York. Emma was seen enjoying Times Square with her close friend Benjamin Heynold, 19, who hugged her in front of one of her new Nike billboards.
The teenager also wowed at the Met Gala before her stay in The Big Apple ended with a visit to the New York Stock Exchange. Her agent said the visit was on her 'bucket list' after getting an A* in maths and an A in economics in her A-levels this summer.
Emma, whose parents both work in the City of London as currency market traders, has admitted to still being on 'cloud nine' after her stunning victory and plans a few days of rest before she is back playing tennis again.
However, she also shared her desire to get back on the court and is expected to appear at BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells next month.
She said: 'I have a few days' rest and recovery (coming up), I think needed after the last seven weeks but then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.'
US Open Winner Emma Raducanu with father Ian after arriving back at the family home in Bromley
Emma laughs with her dad - who was unable to be in NYC because of covid travel restrictions
Emma was last seen at her New York hotel Wednesday (left) and flew overnight to London before being spotted at her family home (right)
Emma Raducanu pictured returning to her hotel after a run in New York City before she caught a flight home
Emma was wearing a Nike Court Dri-FIT t-shirt with the slogan 'Many Nasty Returns' as she returned to the New York hotel
US Open Winner Emma Raducanu arrived back at the family home with her bags - including her tennis equipment - carried in
Her father was pictured smiling broadly with the young tennis star as she arrived home with luggage in tow
Raducanu's home in a cul-de-sac in Bromley, south-east London
Emma's agent Chris Helliar leaves the family house after the US Open winner returned home
The 18-year-old defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday to become Great Britain's first female grand slam winner in 44 years.
It was only Raducanu's second appearance at a major and the new world number 23 has made headlines across the globe, appeared on various TV channels in the United States and she also attended the Met Gala on Monday in a monochrome Chanel ensemble.
Wearing all black to the NYSE, Emma was with her agent Chris Helliar, the man from IMG tasked with helping her towards becoming a $1billion brand.
MailOnline also revealed she has been spending time with old friend and former British tennis protege Benjamin who is studying in New York. He was seen hugging her in front of one of her new Nike billboards in Times Square.
On Tuesday she ticked off another long-term aspiration when she visited Wall Street. 'I am on cloud nine but so excited to be here on New York Stock Exchange. It was one of the places on my bucket list before leaving New York and I'm just so excited and grateful to everyone who made this possible,' Raducanu told CNBC's Closing Bell programme.
'I have a few days' rest and recovery (coming up), I think needed after the last seven weeks but then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.'
Jonathan Shalit, who landed lucrative deals for Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and singer and TV host Myleene Klass, says Emma could become the first billion dollar female sports star.
The chairman of InterTalent predicts Emma's off court earnings will swiftly surpass those of Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka and US legend Serena Williams - the world's two highest paid female athletes last year.
She is already managed by Max Eisenbud, vice-president of tennis at entertainment giant IMG and one of the most powerful agents in sport.
Emma Raducanu, who won the