Emma Raducanu and a handful of Romanian players said their goodbyes to the public with individual, emotional statements last Sunday afternoon in Cluj-Napoca, the final day before new Covid-19 regulations forced the Transylvania Open’s sold-out sessions to be played behind closed doors. It was the first hint of how warmly Raducanu has been welcomed into the Romanian tennis fold as the players cheered one other on.
Raducanu’s triumph at the US Open drew widespread attention, and her paternal Romanian ties were an obvious source of joy for many, but they also sparked a controversy about her identity.
“As well as Bianca Andreescu’s case, it was on social media,” says Adrian Toca, founder of Romanian tennis publication Treizecizero. “All this talk, that talk. Some people were saying: ‘Why should we root for her? She’s not Romanian.’ Others that she has Romanian origins.”
The last week has been a clear win for the latter viewpoint. Raducanu was warmly welcomed by all during her time at Cluj-Napoca, where she advanced to her maiden WTA tour quarter-final before losing 6-2, 6-1 to Marta Kostyuk.
Source : guardian sport