Emma Raducanu made a winning return to Britain at the ATP Champions Tour event at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The 19-year-old was playing on home soil for the first time today (Sunday) since her historic US Open triumph in September.

She took on Romanian world number 85 Elena-Gabriela Ruse, her friend and hitting partner, in an exhibition match.

It was knockabout stuff and a far cry from the tension and drama of Flushing Meadows 79 days ago, but Britain’s first female grand slam champion in 44 years won the match 6-3 7-6 (3).

Raducanu revealed Formula One world champion Hamilton has been mentoring her, and even said she was rooting for him to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, for which she is a huge favourite, next month.

But when asked on court if she had prepared her winners’ speech, Raducanu said:  “No, definitely not.

“I am rooting for Lewis (Hamilton) in the (Formula One championship) race. He has been such a good role model for me, in terms of just helping me through these next stages.

“He is a really cool person. It is very close in the race, only eight points, so we will see.

“I don’t even think about Sports Personality. For me it’s just something so far from the realms of possibility.

“He’s just been really cool in helping me. He said be patient, ride the wave, good reassurance. He’s a really cool guy.”

She added: “For me, my expectations of myself are to keep improving, I want to look back at the end of the year and see that I made gains in different areas.

“I know it will take a lot of patience to get to where I want to be and smooth out that consistency. It’s all about building robustness physically.

“It will be my first calendar year on the tour, it will be a cool experience to play a full schedule. I am looking forward to learning, I am still quite young. We will learn and get better.”

Raducanu’s knockabout with world number 85 Ruse, her friend and training partner, was a far cry from the tension and drama of the US Open final 79 days ago – or indeed her last appearance in this country when she retired from her Wimbledon fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic with breathing difficulties.

Nevertheless, Britain’s first female grand slam winner in 44 years won the match 6-3 7-6 (3) in front of a delighted crowd of around 4,000 people.

Among the joking between points, the marriage proposal from a spectator and the inevitable rallies with ball kids, Raducanu occasionally unleashed her powerful groundstrokes and effortlessly moved her opponent all around the court, just as she had during that glorious fortnight in New York.

Despite being about to embark on her first full year on the WTA Tour, Raducanu is already certain to be a big scalp for her opponents “I’m not sure of other people’s opinions of me,” she said.

“It’s going to happen, pressure is a privilege. I thrive under the adrenaline, I hope.

“So for me I don’t really think about other people’s opinions or expectations. The only ones I have are that of myself, to improve and get better.”

Raducanu remains determined to stay grounded despite her stunning success, the Bromley teenager adding: “For me, I am just going about my business.

“I take the train sometimes. I am doing the same journeys I used to. I feel like I am the exact same person.

“I will go about everything I used to do. I don’t see why should I change the things that got me that title. I am still enjoying it.”

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