Emma Raducanu’s US Open win trends on Chinese social media as country celebrates teenager’s heritage
Emma Raducanu’s shock US Open success isn’t only be celebrated in Britain – she is trending in China and a hot topic in Canada and Romania.
The 18-year-old US Open champion was born in Toronto, Canada, to Chinese mother Dong Mei Zhai, known as Renee, and Romanian father Ion.
The family moved to the UK when she was two, settling in Bromley, south-east London.
In an interview before the final, Raducanu credited her Chinese background for instilling her sense of self-belief, telling Vogue: “My mum comes from a Chinese background, they have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture.”
Following her victory in the final she also addressed her fans in Mandarin, saying: “Hello everyone, I’d like to say thank you. I hope you liked watching my tennis. I’m very, very happy right now… Thank you, I love you!”
Her recognition of her Chinese heritage went down a storm in the country with the hashtag “18-year-old Chinese teenager wins the US Open” trending on Chinese platform Weibo.
The topic had more than 200 million views in 24 hours following Raducanu’s historic win in New York, according to the South China Morning Post.
Users even praised her “cute” northeastern accent – her mother is originally from the city of Shenyang in the northeastern province Liaoning.
One user wrote: “Her grandma in Shenyang must be proud of her, and we people in Shenyang are also proud of her.”
Chinese media also reported the teenager had been due to visit her grandmother in China this weekend but had to postpone after storming through to win the Grand Slam.
The state-run Global Times hailed her victory reporting Raducanu was “very interested in Chinese culture” and often visits Shenyang to see her relatives.
The Romanian press also wrote about the Londoner’s link to the country, with one publication reporting “she loved her grandmother’s cooking”.
On the country’s Digi 24 website, Christian Poepscu wrote: “The only thing we can say is Romanian, without any hesitation, is her name – Raducanu. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to claim her as ‘ours’.
“She grew up in other countries, not ours.
“But we can still love her! Nobody can stop us!”
In the Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno joked Britons “will be insufferable” after a 44-year wait for a female Grand Slam champion. Raducanu’s final opponent Leylah Fernandez, 19, is Canadian.
She wrote: “You know, though, Raducanu, who was born in Toronto two months after [Leylah] Fernandez was born in Montreal, has a Canadian passport and dual citizenship. Canada could, if we wanted to be really mingy about it, claim Raducanu as our own, at the very least get all co-proprietary about it.
“Nah. We’ll stick with Fernandez and revel in a marvellous tournament that ended one stride short of the triumphant finish line.”