The last tennis player to win a grand-slam title when she was as young as Emma Raducanu was Maria Sharapova.
Aged seven, Sharapova moved from Moscow to Florida to pursue her - and her parents' - tennis dream. When she was nine, Sharapova was enrolled full-time at the IMG Academy in Florida. She embodied the classic tale of the sporting prodigy.
Like the stories of the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods, it encapsulated the idea that champions must be identified in their formative years, and then commit themselves unstintingly to their sport.
Raducanu shows the merits of a very different approach. She did not go to a tennis academy, played a wide range of sports while growing up and was also an outstanding student, getting an A* in maths and an A in economics in her A-levels.
Raducanu began playing tennis at Bromley Tennis Academy aged five. But tennis was merely one of a smorgasbord of activities that she tried, alongside ballet, tap dancing, golf, horse-riding, skiing, basketball and go-karting. Tennis did not win out over the others until she was in her teens.
Raducanu's experiences are in keeping with the growing evidence that specialising in a sport before your teens is detrimental to your chances of becoming an elite athlete. Early "specialisers" are twice as susceptible to overuse injuries as those who play a range of sports. They are also more likely to suffer burnout and to quit altogether. Specialising later gives a child the best chance of picking the sport for which they are genuinely best suited, rather than the one best for their physique at that moment.
Playing a range of sports can develop creativity, allowing for a cross-pollination of skills, and aid motor development. England's Jos Buttler has credited his ramp shot with playing hockey; Novak Djokovic attributes his slide on court to skiing; for Rafael Nadal playing football - his main sport until he turned 12 - helped develop his extraordinary stamina. Other sports can also hone an athlete's mental skills: cricketer Steve Smith says that he developed his problem-solving playing tennis.
Following the Raducanu model and delaying specialisation is not just far better for a child's mental health. It is also better for their chances of becoming an elite athlete. A UK study comparing gold medallists at the Olympics or World Championships with equivalent athletes who did not reach these heights, found that the medal winners spent more time practising other sports as children and specialised later; future champions were more likely to play three sports regularly at 15 than those less successful. Studies in Denmark and Germany show the same.
Raducanu's parents were "very hard to please", she has said. Yet they were not preoccupied by tennis alone, as her experience playing other sports and her outstanding grades at school attest.
In sport and beyond, a growing body of research shows the pitfalls of helicopter parenting - micromanaging all aspects of a child's life and trying to remove any obstacles to failure. Helicopter parenting can stop children from learning how to cope with failure and from developing the tools to think for themselves and adapt in the moment - such a hallmark of Raducanu's play at the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
"Being a helicopter parent won't make your child a great athlete," says Nicholas Holt, a specialist in sports development from the University of Alberta. "Excessively controlling parenting is detrimental to child development."
Sports psychologist Dave Collins analysed what separated super champions - those with over 50 international caps or five or more world championship medals - from "almosts". The parents of those "almosts" were far more consumed by their child's sporting careers - complaining to the coach about them not being picked, or lavishing them with all the best equipment.
The parents of super champions tended to ask their children questions about how they should play; the parents of "almosts" simply told their children what to do. Each year at the famous French football academy at Clairefontaine, there is a special address to parents, who are told to be "normal parents" and leave their children to make their own way on the pitch.
Only an infinitesimal proportion of those who commit to sport as children will forge professional careers. But, happily, there need not be a tension between maximising the chances of a child's sporting success and doing what is best for their wider development.
And so, for parents, the lesson of Raducanu is a powerful one: a balanced childhood is not the enemy of sporting success, but could actually make it more likely.