Emma Raducanu has described Lewis Hamilton as a “good role model” and says the Formula One driver has been “really cool in helping” this year.
Raducanu shot to fame in the summer after coming through qualifying to win the US Open without dropping a set.
Shortly after her stunning win in New York she met seven-time F1 champion Hamilton at the Met Gala.
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"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,” said Raducanu about Hamilton after rounding off her 2021 season at the ATP Champions Tennis event at London's Royal Albert Hall.
"He's just been really cool in helping me. He said be patient, ride the wave, good reassurance. He's a really cool guy."
Raducanu and Hamilton are two of the leading contenders for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, which will be announced in December.
Asked about her chances of lifting the prize, Raducanu said: “I just don’t even think about it.
“For me, it’s something that’s so far out of the realms of possibility that I just don’t even understand how it could be a possibility.”
Raducanu’s win over Elena-Gabriela Ruse at the Champions Tennis event was the first time she has played in Britain since becoming US Open champion in September.
She will now turn her attentions fully to pre-season training as she prepares for the Australian Open in January.
Raducanu is set to compete alongside Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi from December 16-18 before heading to Melbourne.
She will travel with her new coach Torben Beltz for the first time.
"Torben is a super positive guy and he brings great energy,” said Raducanu.
“He's someone whenever you're around him you can't help it because it's just like infectious. It's really cool to have that in my team so he's constantly lifting the mood. I'm really excited to work with him and I'll get a better chance to get to know him better this off-season and see where it goes.
We've been in communication a lot. I've just been doing a lot of fitness, like four to five hours a day training and start my tennis next week, so he's coming in and we'll be working hard together during the off-season and into Australia.
Asked about her lengthy training sessions, Raducanu said: "I start the day on a high and by the fourth hour I'm already feeling it. For me, I know that gives me confidence that I'm putting the work in. I take that as a mental strength and an advantage and although four weeks is a great time, the off-season is quite short.
"Realistically, I'm not sure how much I can improve in four weeks, but I feel like playing a full schedule next year I'll improve. Just playing matches and getting match fitness - that's the only real way it kind of happens."
Raducanu also says she is staying grounded despite her success.
"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 I should change the things that got me that title. I am still enjoying it."
The Australian Open starts on January 17.
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