Interest soars at city tennis clubs after Raducanu triumph

Children enjoying the tennis with coach Alex McNaughton, at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton

Children enjoying the tennis with coach Alex McNaughton, at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Emma Raducanu's US Open victory has had a huge impact on Norwich tennis clubs with a surge in bookings following the match. 

The 18-year-old became the only qualifier, and first British woman for 44 years, to win a Grand Slam singles title as she defeated Leylah Fernandez in New York

And the full impact of the surprise success is being felt across the city with Norwich Parks Tennis seeing 70 members sign up in the 24 hours after Raducanu's feat. 

Great Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates defeating Greece's Maria Sakkari to reach the Women's Final

Great Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates at Flushing Meadows - Credit: PA

"We would normally see 70 sign-ups in a month so we are all a bit bamboozled," said club director Chris Evans. 

Charlie, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. Picture: D

Charlie, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"It's arguably the greatest sporting achievement of all time. I think there definitely will be a massive knock-on effect.

"We have already had three local schools contact us asking if we would like to come in for sessions.

Concentrating hard, Sanaya, eight, left, and Joyce, eight, during the tennis coaching at the Norwich

Concentrating hard, Sanaya, eight, left, and Joyce, eight, during the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"There will be a tremendous boost and she is a real role model for young girls."

Mr Evans recalled Raducanu being defeated by a Norfolk player three-months-ago before the teenage sensation got a wildcard to play at Wimbledon in the summer. 

"I can't even explain it," Mr Evans said. 

Chris Evans, director of the National Tennis Association, with Norfolk number one player, Ethan Terr

Chris Evans, director of the National Tennis Association, with Norfolk number one player, Ethan Terry, 16, at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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"To consider there are thousands of aspiring players like that but only one freak of nature who could turn up on that world stage. Nobody could see this coming.

Lucy, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. Picture: DENI

Lucy, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"It's like an absolute dream. People within tennis can't believe it. None of us had really heard of Raducanu before Wimbledon.

"It's like a non-league football team winning the Champions League." 

Lady tennis star in action

Emma Raducanu in action - Credit: PA

EA Tennis has multiple venues across the city including Eaton Park, Waterloo Park and the Sportspark at the University of East Anglia. 

Another city tennis club benefitting from the weekend is Easton Tennis Centre which is based at Easton College with eight indoor courts and four clay courts. 

Easton Tennis Centre in Norwich 

Easton Tennis Centre in Norwich - Credit: Contributed

Matt Breese, head of commercial operations at the club, said: "The phone has been warm with people ringing up and seeing what we have, as well as coming and getting involved with what we do.

"What an opportunity this is for the sport to grab hold of when trying to get young girls interested in picking up a racket." 

Children enjoying the tennis with coach Alex McNaughton, at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton

Children enjoying the tennis with coach Alex McNaughton, at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Concentrating hard, from left, Sanaya, eight; Joyce, eight; Samantha, eight; and Lucy, 10; at the No

Concentrating hard, from left, Sanaya, eight; Joyce, eight; Samantha, eight; and Lucy, 10; at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Zachary, eight, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. Picture

Zachary, eight, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Coach Alex McNaughton with the children at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. From left, b

Coach Alex McNaughton with the children at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. From left, back, Lucy, 10; Alex, 10; Charlie, 10; Samantha, eight; and Joyce, eight. Front, Zachary, eight, and Senaya, eight. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Alex, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. Picture: DENI

Alex, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Lucy, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. Picture: DENI

Lucy, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Charlie, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. Picture: D

Charlie, 10, enjoying the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Norfolk number one player, Ethan Terry, 16, during the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis C

Norfolk number one player, Ethan Terry, 16, during the tennis coaching at the Norwich Parks Tennis Club at Eaton Park. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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