Emma Raducanu: Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp ‘overwhelmed’ by inspirational teenager’s US Open win
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed he was “overwhelmed” and “inspired” by Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory on Saturday.
Klopp said he was one of the nine million people in the UK to tune into the match, as 18-year-old Raducanu made history by becoming the first qualifier to win a grand slam as she defeated 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez in New York.
In doing so, Raducanu also became the first British woman to win a grand slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977, in what was the first all-teenage US Open final in more than 20 years.
Klopp said that Raducanu’s victory and the subsequent maturity displayed by the two teenagers as they gave their post-match speeches on Arthur Ashe had taught him a lesson in sportsmanship, and the 54-year-old said he will be watching more women’s tennis in the future as a result.
“I watched the final and it was absolutely impressive,” Klopp said.
“It’s long ago since I had watched a full tennis game, it’s [even longer] since I had watched a full women’s tennis game, and I was really impressed by the power, speed, and the whole game.
“These two girls were 18 and 19 and what they showed was massively impressive. Then we watched the trophy ceremonies as well and both girls, how they spoke at 18 and 19, that was inspiring to be honest.
“Maybe even more so than the tennis, and that was inspiring enough. I was absolutely overwhelmed with how they presented themselves.
“Fernandez was obviously disappointed with losing the game, and rightly so as it was really close. Emma showed great respect for her. They knew and hoped that they would face each other again in the future and in more finals.
“So it was just a great display of elite sportsmanship, of elite sport. How humble you can be when you are that young but on top of the world. It was really nice and that’s what I [as a football manager] can take from it.
“About the tennis story I don’t know enough, but when you are 18 years old and able to win the US Open, she’s for sure the talent of the century but without hard work it’s not possible to be there.
“To see her smiling during the game, it’s just the nicest thing. I will watch women’s tennis much more now than I did in the last few years.”
Raducanu’s historic victory has drawn praise from Andy Murray to the Queen, and the British star has risen to world No 23 as a result of her stunning US Open triumph.
Liverpool play their opening match of the Champions League against AC Milan on Wednesday.
Klopp confirmed that Harvey Elliot will undergo surgery in London today after the 18-year-old forward dislocated his ankle in the 3-0 win over Leeds on Sunday.
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