British No 1 Emma Raducanu has been warned she faces a ‘very tough’ time at Wimbledon this year – but tennis chiefs believe the teenager has the maturity to deal with the scrutiny.
‘Emma-mania’ is expected to grip SW19 during the tournament, which starts on June 27, when the 19-year-old plays her first Wimbledon as the reigning US Open champion.
LTA CEO Scott Lloyd told The Sun: ‘It’s going to be in some ways a very tough year, a tough summer for her, in terms of her profile.
‘It’s only a year ago she was sitting her A-Levels. Emma needs to try to find what works for her in terms of how she navigates the Tour and the travelling, domestic tournaments or internationally.’
Lloyd went on to add that the youngster has a long way to go to ‘learn what works for her’ and get the best out of her performances.
He also believes that she has the maturity to deal with any added pressure Wimbledon might bring.
Lloyd said: ‘The one thing I’ll say on that is that you saw her navigate that last summer with incredible maturity given the circumstances. She has a very level head on her shoulders.
‘It’s a development period, it’s a learning experience, but she is in a good place. She knows what she wants to try and do.’
Raducanu was thrashed 6-1 6-1 in just 62 minutes by Marketa Vondrousova as Great Britain suffered respectable 3-2 defeat by Czech Republic in the Billie Jean King Cup.
Having played superbly to win her singles on Friday, the Kent young person was limped in losing 6-1, 6-1 to Marketa Vondrousova, who gave her something of a tutoring in the craft of mud court tennis.
The unaccustomed type of movement required on clay brought on the blisters for Raducanu.
She had spoken of losing her toenails but it later emerged that blisters were already a concern before the start.
‘I have had a few blisters on my feet before for sure but I think it’s related to numerous things,’ she said.
‘So I’m just going to go and evaluate all my options in all sorts of feet scenarios. Because this has happened quite a few times now and we need to nip it in the bud.’
She added that the blister made her feel ‘redundant’ on court: ‘ It kind of showed up after yesterday’s match. We’ve been managing it but I couldn’t really move or load either way.
‘Now it’s just about trying to get it better as soon as possible. This morning it was in pretty good condition. I practised and it definitely just got progressively worse throughout the end of practice towards the match.’