EMMA RADUCANU burst onto the scene with her US Open win in September.
Emma Raducanu has been told to learn from former tennis stars’ mistakes ahead of her illustrious professional career – by taking what she can from losing and going on to become one of tennis’ greatest ever stars
Raducanu, 19, rose to prominence in the British sporting world after competing at Wimbledon 2021. The Canadian-born star beat Vitalia Diatchenko, Marketa Vondrousova and Sorana Cirstea in straight sets on her way to the last-16 to give UK tennis hopes that a superstar was born.
Although she lost to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the last-16 after retiring, there were hopes she could improve in the future. And that she did, winning the US Open without dropping a single set – despite starting in qualifying – to stun the sporting world and take home the famous accolade.
Much has been made of Raducanu’s ‘slow’ progression in her career since the win in New York, with the Bromley resident failing to win another title since. However, with such high standards will come scrutiny and losses, which aren’t a bad thing for someone of such a young age.
And Leif Shiras has backed the prodigy to focus on her defeats positively if she is to win a Grand Slam once again. “People who aren’t tennis fans or sports fans say, Emma will win the calendar Slam she’s that great. If it were that easy, right? It just isn’t that easy,” Shiras told Sky Sports.
“For a young player like her there is going to be pressure. She’s under the microscope now and in the locker room they respect and admire her, but she’s suddenly become a very good win so everybody is going to be gunning for her. They’re going to be giving their best every time on the court, so she’s going to have to deal with people taking it on as a real challenge.
“She’s going to have to find her best tennis, more consistently, and that’s going to be difficult because she’s on a learning curve. There’s still a lot in her game that she can learn and we see that because she’s an emerging talent so her game has a few holes to fill in still.
“Jim Courier always said, ‘I enjoy learning from losing, you can really learn a lot, but I enjoy learning from winning’ so maybe she can learn while she’s winning. That’s the best formula. Five of the last nine Grand Slams have been won by first-timers so there is possibilities and there are a lot of players who can be favoured at majors. There’s no reason why Emma can’t do the same
“Is it going to be a rough road? Yes, because there are a lot of experienced players who all want to get a piece of the action, so it’s going to be competitive.
“But she’s done it before and I think she has a taste of what she can do and because the game is not dominated so much like a Serena Williams, I do think there are opportunities for a number of women – including Emma – to win a second major.”