Emma Raducanu gets candid on her 'pushy parents being very much against boyfriends'

Growing up, Raducanu was pretty much only focused on school and tennis.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu gets candid on her 'pushy parents being very much against boyfriends'
© Getty Images Sport - Aurelien Meunier

Emma Raducanu reveals her dad "forced" her into tennis and had "pushy parents" who wanted her to be committed to succeeding in life and that included having no boyfriends and also limited time with her friends. 

Raducanu, who will be turning 22 in November, rose to fame at a very young age in one of the most stunning ways possible and now she is widely regarded as one of the most popular British tennis players and athletes. 

But before Raducanu wrote tennis history and became the first-ever qualifier male or female to win a Grand Slam, she had strict parents who were all about hard work and doing something productive that would set up their daughter for a good life. 

Although Raducanu is just 21, she has had one of the richest sponsorship portfolios for the last few years as she quickly became a marketing giant and just last year racked around $15 million from her sponsorship deals. 

Reflecting on her life path and tennis journey, Raducanu is now grateful to her parents for being hard on her as she now realizes that it helped her.

“At the start my dad forced me into tennis. I didn’t like it, but then as I got older and tennis became more of a priority I was pushing myself," Raducanu told The Times.

"They are so pushy. When I was younger more so. Now they are at a place where they tell me what they think is best, but they realise ultimately that the more they push the more I am going to resist. 

"I’ve seen some great people who I was playing with in the juniors who had way more lenient parents, who were like, 'It’s OK if you lost”, and those players don’t play tennis anymore, so I don’t blame my parents for it."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Aurelien Meunier

Raducanu: My parents were very much against boyfriends

During an Evian campaign shot with Dua Lipa in 2022, Raducanu suggested during a chat with the British singer that she never had a boyfriend. 

But last year, Raducanu was spotted hanging out with Carlos Agostinelli, the son of billionaire banker Robert Agostinelli. After some of Raducanu's Instagram posts sparked rumors the two may be dating, those rumors only increased after British media caught the couple hanging out in London on several occasions. 

“My parents were very much against that (boyfriends) as it interfered with training," Raducanu shared. 

“When I was younger I wasn’t even allowed to hang out with my girlfriends. A lot of the time I was very resentful. But it made me very confident and comfortable in my own company, which is also a big strength.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Raducanu hints she won't be in pro tennis in 10 years 

At 21, Raducanu is still very young and basically at the start of her career. However, Raducanu has been through a lot more than an average 21-year-old player as the Briton became a Grand Slam champion at 18 in a historic way. Also, there is the major criticism and scrutiny that Raducanu has faced over the last couple of years due to her lack of success since the 2021 US Open. 

Now, Raducanu reveals there are times when she probably misses doing "normal things" but reveals she will probably be able to do that in 10 years. 

 "I do, but the rewards I am getting at this point are a lot greater than the best they can get," Raducanu said.

"My career in tennis is probably finished in 10 years, so I have got to maximize. It's a sacrifice worth making."

When Raducanu's career ends, she indicates that she plans to pursue some other opportunities and that may be doing something in finance. 

"I met a group of HSBC trainees and it was fun seeing what they were doing. In 15 years it will all be reversed and they will be super high up and I will just be starting. My parents were academic and they always led me down the finance route," Raducanu said.

"I am seeing the operations behind the scenes and something I would potentially want to do in the future. A hundred percent for me - life starts after tennis. I am actually looking forward to the next chapter, which is funny to say at this age.

"But there are so many things I want to do in this life and I just don't have enough time."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, Raducanu pulled out of the French Open qualifying after the tournament organizers decided against giving her a main draw wildcard. 

Raducanu could still potentially make the main draw if a few more players withdraw from the tournament before the qualifying starts but that may be a long shot. 

If Raducanu doesn't play the French Open, she will then likely turn her focus on the grass season.

Emma Raducanu