A Thornbury woman who worked with Emma Raducanu says she is proud to have played a small part in the tennis star's success.

Raducanu, 18, became the first British woman to win a major singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977 when she triumphed at the US Open last Saturday.

And as the nation revelled in the youngsters success, Janet Raven had reason to feel even more excited - having worked with Raducanu for years.

Janet was British Tennis' performance pastoral care supervisor from 2012-2020, after leaving her position as headteacher of Crossways Junior School.

The new role saw her working with players aged nine up to under 18s at the National Tennis Centre and on training camps around the world.

Janet's role saw her look after the players when they were off court, doing everything from helping them with their schoolwork to bringing in birthday cakes.

"I was like their tennis mum," said Janet.

"I know Emma really well. I must have looked after her 20 plus times over the years. Helping her with schoolwork and helping her with life.

"I would have done all the things to make her happy. I treated the players how I would have wanted my own kids to be treated if they were in that situation.

"I got a massive amount of appreciation from parents.

"I did have influence off court but I didn't coach and that meant I had a very different relationship with the players.

"It was my role to talk to the kids and that became part of the story of that player. I would feedback to national coaches."

One of Janet's legacies is Tiny Tim, a teddy bear she first bought when working with some under 12s in an Antwerp training camp.

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"If I thought they were getting a bit nervous I would hold him up.

"The purpose was to make them smile. You're meant to be enjoying this, you're nor professionals you're children.

"Anybody who knows tennis would recognise it. Everybody has got pictures of him."

Janet was at Wimbledon for Raducanu's fourth round match earlier this year, in which she was forced to retire with breathing difficulties.

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"I felt for her. I could see she was struggling."

"I wished I could have gone down and given her a hug."

But did she see her success at the US Open coming?

"Before she went into qualifying she played into Chicago and did really well against some very good players. I knew she was in good form and that she had a fairly good chance of making the main draw.

"Never in a million years did I think she'd win the US Open.

"I could see she was getting better and better very quickly. Her level just shifted higher and higher, usually it takes two or three years.

"When I watched her semi-final I thought 'this could happen'.

"The fact she won is just an absolute fairy story."

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And were there signs from a young age that Raducanu was destined for stardom?

"There were signs along the way.

"She kept winning things. She was a person people would take a special interest in."

Janet also said Raducanu, who achieved an A* in maths and an A in economics in her A-levels this year, had always taken her education seriously.

"That takes commitment and persistence.

"It would be very easy not to."

Janet, who was also a welfare officer at the National Tennis Centre, retired last year having been placed on furlough when training camps stopped due to Covid. Raducanu was among the players to appear in a video message wishing her a happy retirement.

And while Janet is at the end of her career, Raducanu's story is only just beginning.

"It's been a fun journey," Janet said.

"I have had people phone up and all sorts of stuff.

"There's been a lot of people asking 'what was she like?'

"She's got the talent to be a multiple grand slam champion. The sky's the limit for her."

While recognising she only played a small part in her development, Janet is rightly proud of her role in Emma's success - having always wanted to work with a player that went on to win a grand slam.

Mission accomplished.