Tennis fever in Shropshire after Raducanu's US Open victory

Tennis fever could be sweeping Shropshire after teenager Emma Raducanu's sensational US Open win.

Tennis coach Adam Wharf with budding players Iris Burton, Maddie Crabb, Georgie Howson and Gwen Klu
Tennis coach Adam Wharf with budding players Iris Burton, Maddie Crabb, Georgie Howson and Gwen Klu

The 18-year-old served up a thrilling straight sets win over Leylah Fernandez at Flushing Meadows on Saturday night, becoming the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

Her stunning moment of unlikely glory caused a palpable buzz at The Shrewsbury Club on Monday morning, which head coach Adam Wharf was delighted to see. He is confident it will inspire even more players to pick up a racquet.

"It's been nice, everyone has been talking about it," he said. "It's a great news story and great to have people talking about tennis.

"It may be that we see the impact a bit later in terms of uptake, but I'm sure it will inspire people."

He added: "It was probably the best women's final I've seen. It started at incredible speed. I thought it was great that they started at such a good level, but there would be bound to be a bit of a lull. But it just kept on going and going. It was fairly incredible. It's a good one for the record books."

Adam first saw the young Raducanu playing as a schoolgirl, when he used to coach her rivals. He thought she was good, but admits he could never have predicted the fabulous start to her senior career.

"I've known her since she was about nine," he said. "She was obviously a very good player. I've coached girls who have played against her. I don't think anybody would have guessed it. She was very good, but nobody knows how you will play on that stage. She obviously thrives on it. She was super calm."

Ten-year-old Maddie Crabb in action at The Shrewsbury Club

The Shrewsbury Club hosts the ITF World Tour W60 women's and M25 men's tournaments, which often gives Salopians a chance to catch a glimpse of the best of rising British talent.

Adam believes if Raducanu had not made such a meteoric rise, the chances are she would have played at Shrewsbury this year. Alas, we'll have to cheer her from afar.

"Raducanu would probably have played here this year had she not made the fourth round at Wimbledon, but even then she was about 150th in the world. Now she's top 20."

It has been double Wimbledon champion Andy Murray that has carried the nation's tennis hopes for nearly two decades, but even he didn't have such a blistering start to his career.

Asked whether he noticed more grass-roots interest in the game when Murray burst onto the scene, Adam said: "I don't think there was a massive upsurge in people playing, but when tennis is on television and there is a British interest, that certainly helps.

"Before Murray, there wasn't much British interest. But now we've got Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie, Raducanu, so there is interest in both the men's and women's."

Tennis has long been seen as an upper class sport, but Adam believes it is accessible to those who have been inspired by Raducanu.

"In terms of elite sport and if you want to be a professional, it does start to cost more money. But the LTA has some good schemes including the Youth Start Scheme." In that scheme, youngsters aged four to 11 can receive six tennis lessons from a top coach, a free racquet and balls, as well as a t-shirt and activity cards, all for £35.

I've you've been inspired to pick up a racquet and want to find out more about tennis at The Shrewsbury Club, visit theshrewsburyclub.co.uk/tennis/

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