British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu could become the country’s highest paid sports star if she continues a streak that has seen her reach this weekend’s final of the US Open, winning over American crowds in the process.
The 18-year-old first made headlines over the summer with a run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, but her value will sky-rocket after racing through the field in New York without dropping a set.
Agent to the stars Jonathan Shalit, chairman of InterTalent, tells today’s Sun newspaper: “Emma is a phenomenon. She will be the highest-earning female UK sports star ever. If the trajectory Emma is on continues, she will earn well over £100 million.”
Which begs the question, which watch brand will secure her signature to be come a brand ambassador?
Rolex with Roger Federer and Audemars Piguet with Serena Williams, have both secured the services of the two biggest tennis stars in the world for the past 20 years, but both players are nearing the end of their careers.
Richard Mille has worked with Rafa Nadal over his long and illustrious career while Novak Dojokovic has represented Seiko for much of his time at the top, but recently signed with Hublot.
These giants of the game have kept challenges at bay for decades. Naomi Osaka looked like she would get a grip on the women’s game (she is the face of TAG Heuer after a spell with Citizen), but has had a lean year and withdrawn from some tournaments because of stress.
Ms Raducanu is already reportedly managed by Max Eisenbud, vice-president of tennis at IMG, who represented Maria Sharapova as she earned £234 million on and off the court over the course of her career, according to Forbes.
With her talent, determination, youth, energy, charm in front of the camera and pop star looks, Ms Raducanu could become the face of the women’s game for 10-15 years, and with most major watch brands associated with a soon-to-retire generation of stars, there will be no shortage of brands wanting her to slip on one of their timepieces should she lift a major trophy?
Will it be Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, TAG Heuer, Citizen, Seiko or another brand entirely?
Only time will tell.