Emma Raducanu is advising Amazon Prime on a multi-million pound cash injection to help find the next generation of women tennis stars.
The pot for the future of the game in Britain was raised by the deal the streaming service secured with Channel 4 to make her US Open final free-to-air.
Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport in Europe, said Raducanu was enthusiastic about playing a key role in deciding where the money would be spent. No firm decisions have been made, however, as Raducanu is preparing to play in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup.
Green said: “It’s early days, but we want to make the biggest difference we can – particularly to young women’s tennis in this country.”
Deliberations also involving the Lawn Tennis Association will ensure the money is spent on supporting the nation’s young talent. On the prospect of helping find the next Raducanu, the TV executive added: “We’d love to. It’s so important to have these figures that other girls and boys can look up to.”
Raducanu’s final last month, which was shared with Channel 4 after it offered a “seven-figure” fee, was Amazon’s “biggest tennis event ever”.
“Now there is a whole new wave of interest in women’s tennis in Britain, which is fantastic,” Green added. Raducanu suffered a first-round exit at Indian Wells last weekend, but Green says she is an “incredible talent so I’m sure we’ll build from there”.
Boosting grass-roots tennis has already been identified as an ambition by the 18-year-old. She discussed access to tennis during a phone call with the Prime Minister in the days after her fairy-tale triumph in New York.
With the likes of Andy Murray critical of previous efforts by the LTA to boost the amateur game, Amazon Prime has promised to make a “conscious decision about what makes the most difference”.
Green added: “Who could have imagined that would happen? We aren’t taking any credit for it but we helped two young players and guess what? They are doing well now. I’d love to see a similar sort of difference that we can make moving with young talent.”
He added that the major investment is a “moment that we can’t waste”.
“This is a rare, rare moment,” he added of the interest around Raducanu.
“A rare moment globally, let alone for the UK. I think we do need to capitalise on it. It’s great to be able to contribute to that.”