British wunderkind Emma Raducanu stunned viewers when she powered through to a victory in the U.S. Open in September 2021. The tennis player, who was ranked 150th in the world and barely known, catapulted to victory over Canadian player Leylah Fernandez, also another relative unknown.
Many shared Raducanu's motivation in the U.S. Open was to simply win enough money to buy AirPods after she lost her own before a match.
In an post-match interview with ESPN, Raducanu said, “There's a running joke in my team because before my first-round qualifying match I lost my AirPods and I was basically running around the changing room like three minutes before my call to go on trying to find it, but I lost it. I was thinking to myself, 'You know what, if you win this match, you can buy yourself a pair of AirPods,' and that's become the running joke!"
The interview can be seen below:
After her victory, Piers Morgan also entered the fray claiming credit. He tweeted, “I've been totally vindicated. She took my advice and won.” Morgan was referring to his past criticism of Raducanu when she withdrew from Wimbledon earlier this summer.
He had tweeted then in support of tennis player John McEnroe who also criticized Raducanu for not being able to handle the pressure and quitting Wimbledon. Morgan wrote then: “Ms Raducanu’s a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure and quit when she was losing badly. Not ‘brave’, just a shame. If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe, & seek his advice on how to toughen up & become a champion like he was.” In reality Raducanu withdrew because of breathing problems.
Regardless, Raducanu is probably not thinking about all of this on the way to the bank.
Ankel, Sophia. “Emma Raducanu, Whose Stunning Victory at the US Open Earned Her $2.5 Million, Said Her Initial Goal Was to Win Enough Prize Money to Replace Her Lost AirPods.” Insider, https://www.insider.com/emma-raducanus-goal-before-us-open-win-was-replace-airpods-2021-9. Accessed 13 Sept. 2021.
Futterman, Matthew. “Emma Raducanu Wins the U.S. Open to Complete a Miraculous Run.” The New York Times, 11 Sept. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/sports/tennis/emma-raducanu-wins-us-open.html. Accessed 13 Sept. 2021.
Piers Morgan Is at It Again and Claims Raducanu Won after ‘Taking His Advice.’ 12 Sept. 2021, https://www.indy100.com/celebrities/piers-morgan-emma-raducanu-advice-tweet-b1918611. Accessed 13 Sept. 2021.