Looking back on the big news in our exclusive ‘Australian Open Second Service’, a former Slam champion offers a realistic target for Emma Raducanu’s Australian Open and Garbine Muguruza offers a slice of reality over the continued absence of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai
Firstly, Justine Henin has predicted that winning just two matches in her first Australian Open would be a decent return for reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
Speaking to Reuters, 2004 Australian Open victor Henin said “if she was to win two matches at the Australian Open [reaching the third round] it would be very good for her.
“If she gets too caught up in the expectations of the people then it will be a very difficult time for a long time so she needs the right people around her.
“It is more complicated for her … this happened very quickly for Emma. But I was very impressed how she played at the US Open. It was fresh. We needed that, a charismatic girl playing good tennis and dealing with the situation.
“What’s important is that she and her entourage keeps her feet on the ground. She still needs to develop and development takes hard work and that’s where she has to go right now.
“Winning the US Open was best and the worst that could have happened to her I would say.”
In other news, Garbine Muguruza has branded China “a complicated country to deal with” and is concerned Peng Shuai may never be able to “talk freely” or provide “her real truth.”
Peng Shuai went missing for a number of weeks last year after speaking out about alleged sexual abuse she received from a Chinese sports official. Since then Chinese media have published snippets of video featuring Shuai but the player seemed somewhat reluctant to talk about her situation in the footage which has only added to the concerns of the global tennis community.
Muguruza said “are we going to know something about this? I don’t know, I think it’s (China) a complicated country to deal with. Also the way they communicate, culturally.
“It’s a little bit not moving forward, I feel. It’s just there since months and months.
The biggest topic of the week has now started to ‘tire’ for Rafa Nadal who wants people to understand that no one player is bigger than the game.
Nadal was asked again about the deportation of Novak Djokovic from Australia just a day before he was due to play his first round of the 2022 Australian Open when the Spanish legend said,
“I think the situation has gone too far. Honestly I’m a little bit tired of the situation because I just believe that it’s important to talk about our sport, about tennis.
“There is no player in history who’s more important than an event.
Meanwhile, in more positive news for the global game, the announcement of a ‘fly on wall’ style documentary from Netflix that will follow the world’s top tennis players for a full year has received positive support from Daniil Medvedev and others.
Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are all excited to see the new Netflix tennis documentary series and feel it will benefit tennis by introducing the sport to a younger audience.
Medvedev said “I liked Formula One before watching it, so it’s not like I watched it and now I’m a Formula One fan.
“It’s really cool. We can never know how it’s going to work out in tennis. We can only know after the first season is out. But I think it’s exciting.