Written by By Staff Writer, Staff Writer, CNN
“Is this me? Is this my hair?” a journalist asked Emma Raducanu, the Slovenian player she’s become famous for, of course.
Ahead of her first outing at Wimbledon since 2015, Raducanu, now 28, opened up to CNN Style about her newly public tennis career and her “first love,” fashion.
Launched in 2016, the Emma Raducanu fashion brand’s inaugural collection was the world’s most successful digital tennis collection, with more than 1.7 million views and 558,000 followers on Instagram, prompting Raducanu to launch her first official show at last year’s Monte Carlo Fashion Week.
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Following her Grand Slam debut at the 2017 French Open, where she became the first Slovenian player to reach the last 32 in over 20 years, the tennis star was asked by CNN Style to sketch what she planned to wear at Wimbledon.
“I need to have my hair and makeup on because I have an operation, so I’ll change it afterwards,” she added.
Ahead of the tournament kicking off in south-west London this week, Raducanu also discussed her role as a sports ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a cause close to her heart after her own experiences as a child, growing up in a small town in Slovenia with no gym or indoor sports facilities.
(Her other causes: Educating children around the world, working to fight poverty and unfair labor practices.)
Raducanu and the Duchess of Cambridge
In preparation for her first big tournament since the 2016 US Open, the world No. 57 spent the past two weeks in the Netherlands, working with experts in nutrition, sports science and psychology.
Her pre-Wimbledon training routine included yoga and relaxation sessions with singer Pharrell Williams, and training outdoors in Surrey.
Part of the mental process, Raducanu said, was escaping her thoughts by playing with the Duchess of Cambridge, another woman who has stuck up for women’s rights since she first stepped out in public as a child, and whose own personal growth is always questioned and encouraged.
Ahead of her first-round match, Raducanu says she’s feeling the pressure.