Emma Raducanu news: Justine Henin exclusive on the US Open champion
She stunned the sporting world with a remarkable win at the US Open last year, but expectations need to be lowered for Emma Raducanu in 2022.
That’s the verdict of seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin, who believes the teenage Brit needs time to adjust to life as a tennis superstar.
Raducanu’s world has been transformed since her heroics in New York, with former world No.1 Henin telling Tennis365 that the Brit cannot be expected to follow up that success with a run of big wins in her first full year on the senior tour.
“I think it’s going to be hard, to be honest,” stated Henin. “I wish good things for her. The US Open was the best and the worst that could happen to her because she is just at the start of her development.
“She was playing her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon, going to the fourth round. Then she won her first Grand Slam… everything went so fast.
“The problem is, of course, the day after, you are in all the magazines and you have so many sponsors asking for you.
“It will take time and she will need a strong entourage around her to keep her feet on the ground and protect her from the expectations.
“That has happened. Was it a kind of accident? We cannot say. It was an opportunity and she took it brilliantly, but normally to win a Grand Slam you have to develop yourself in a certain way.
“We can understand where the problems could be. She will need good people around her in the next few months and if we want to help her, it is not to bring too many expectations.”
Tennis365 also spoke to Barbara Schett, with the former world No.7 seven telling us that Raducanu has a lot to work on as she looks to establish herself at the top of the game.
“We all knew this was going to be a very difficult year for her,” Schett told Tennis365, as she prepares to work for Eurosport at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
“Then she plays her first match and she plays against someone who reached the final in Adelaide the week before and someone who hits the ball incredibly hard. Then she gets beaten in less than an hour. It was a surprise to me that it was 6-0, 6-1, but it wasn’t a surprise to me that she lost.
“Emma still needs to get used to the whole situation. Her life has changed completely and I have no doubt that she will have success in the future, but this is a year that she has to get used to being a Grand Slam champion and people looking at her, expecting a lot of her. It is all a matter of experience and learning.”
The Australian Open will be live on discovery+ and Eurosport for the next two weeks.
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