Emma Raducanu is a superior model for advancing ladies’ tennis than somebody like Nick Kyrgios, trusts previous world No. 4 Anke Huber. Addressing Eurosport, Huber said feelings “aren’t awful” – and that tennis would be exhausting without them – however that players should shun surpassing standards and cutoff points inside the game.
Emma Raducanu’s approach to tennis is a better example for promoting the women’s game than someone like Nick Kyrgios, believes former world No.4 Anke Huber.
Kyrgios has attracted attention in recent weeks due to a number of outbursts and on-court incidents, including almost hitting a ballboy in Indian Wells after throwing his racquet.
The 19-year-old Raducanu by contrast is an altogether different character, typically letting her tennis do the talking.
And Huber – speaking to Eurosport Germany – thinks a happy medium needs to be met if tennis wants to find its optimum balance of being sport-driven, yet containing enough shows of emotion to remain engaging.
Huber said: “Kyrgios pulls off this show – like John McEnroe before – often on purpose. It’s his ploy to keep the conversation going.
“But I don’t know if you should want that for women’s tennis. Granted, it makes things more interesting.
“But I think an Emma Raducanu is more effective in women’s tennis.”
Raducanu has struggled to replicate her breakout performances of 2021 this year, but Huber thinks she can go right to the top of the game once she becomes accustomed to the WTA Tour.
“Raducanu is someone who can play at the top in the future,” Huber said.
“She has everything to become a top-5 player and maybe even make it to number one. Emma needs another year or two to become consistent and really demonstrate what she is capable of.”
Huber also reflected on the overall trajectory of the game over recent years and what needs to be done to curb the incidents involving not just Kyrgios, but also her compatriot Alexander Zverev, whose smashed an umpire’s chair in Acapulco in February.
Huber said: “I was always very emotional on the court, but I never projected that onto the referee, only onto myself
“With John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, it used to be very ordinary to handle the ref. Later we had this stage with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who generally acted athletes like and extremely fair.
BUT IF EVERYONE JUST LOOKS STRAIGHT AHEAD AND DOESN’T MAKE A SOUND, IT GETS BORING.
“I don’t think emotions are bad, but it must not become offensive and must remain within a certain framework. But if it gets too much, you shouldn’t tear the boys apart right away.
“With Zverev in Acapulco it was extreme, yes. Nobody liked to see that. In my eyes, however, that is not his real character. He had played until five in the morning the day before. You have to look at the circumstances sometimes, because he was certainly physically exhausted. But that is no excuse.
“The question is how the associations will continue to handle it. You can’t let certain types of behaviour pass and allow them. A limit must be set.”