Emma Raducanu: Croft reveals advice for tennis star and her team
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Emma Raducanu has been told she shares traits with British tennis legend Andy Murray – and she can go on to rule the world, according to her former coach. Raducanu shot to fame over the last two weeks as she captured the imagination of the nation en route to winning the US Open.
The 18-year-old remarkably won at Flushing Meadows – just her second Grand Slam appearance – without dropping a set, becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam with her 6-4 6-3 win over fellow teenager Leyla Fernandez in the final.
She also became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade triumphed at Wimbledon back in 1977.
Raducanu’s former coach Mark Petchey knew of her incredible ability before she burst onto the scene and he compared her skills to three-time Grand Slam champion Sir Andy Murray.
Petchey then went on to sensationally claim the teenager can continue to improve and enter the elite bracket of players in the world.
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“From the first day that I met her at the National Tennis Centre, she does have something a little bit special,” Petchey told Good Morning Britain.
“I think she reads a tennis ball. I can’t really explain it in a scientific way, when I’ve worked with Andy Murray for a year as well and obviously watching Andy from 16, he also had this ability to be able to pick up a tennis ball and in a sport that is played in fractions of seconds, obviously, that allows you to do very special things and Emma has that.
“I think everything could be improved; I think her service is still a work in progress. I think her net game is going to get even better as you get a greater understanding of where to be.
“I think her room for improvement is not just incremental gains, I think they are substantial and I honestly think she is going to rule the world.”
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While Petchey hailed Raducanu’s remarkable talent, Wade offered some advice to the teenage star and warned her of the newfound fame her success will bring.
The 76-year-old won the US Open when she was 23 in 1968 – the same year she turned pro, similar to Raducanu.
When asked how to handle the rise by BBC Breakfast, Wade said: “That is probably the hardest thing these days, to handle that and so she’s got to have very good advice on that.
“Just not to do too much and not to play too much because you don’t want to play that much when there’s so much expectation on you and then you get stale or you lose your motivation, so that is a balance that’s difficult to get.
“I think for Emma, she needs to understand just how good she really is, but you have to constantly work at that to maintain it, she has to have that self-belief – if you believe that you’re better than the others, you’re going to beat them.”
The praise continued to come for the teenager from former British number one Annabel Croft and Anne Keothavong.
Croft hailed Raducanu’s exceptionally mature attitude towards dealing with press duties and suggested she will go on to become a huge star.
Despite the teenager retiring from her fourth round match with Ajla Tomljanovic at Wimbledon due to breathing difficulties, Keothavong told Good Morning Britain that she is confident Raducanu is now strong enough to deal with any mental setbacks.
“She’s tough as nails and anyone who knows her has seen that, she really is a tough competitor,” the 37-year-old said.
“She was able to bounce back and she is a tough competitor, she’s very committed to her sport and she’s steely which you want to see in a top player – but the level of focus and her attention to detail is what makes her the player she is.”
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