Andy Murray highlights key reasons for Emma Raducanu’s meteoric rise, saying ‘not everyone can do that’

Shahida Jacobs
US Open women's champion Emma Raducanu celebrates
Emma Raducanu celebrates her US Open victory

Emma Raducanu’s ability to “pick things up extremely quickly” played a key role in her spectacular success at the US Open, according to former world No 1 Andy Murray, who believes the tennis hiatus in 2020 also aided her rise.

The 18-year-old Raducanu has produced one of the most astounding breakthrough seasons that the tennis world has seen as she became the first qualifier – man or woman – to win a Grand Slam after beating Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final.

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Having made her Grand Slam main draw debut at Wimbledon before exiting in round four, the teenager went all the way at Flushing Meadows.

What made her success even more astonishing is the fact that she only made her WTA Tour debut at Nottingham in June and had played only six professional matches before winning 10 matches – three in qualifying and seven in the main draw – in a row at in New York.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray says Raducanu’s ability to learn quickly and the coronavirus-enforced break in 2020 were likely big reasons for a success.

“Often what separates the elite athletes from that level just below is that ability to learn quickly and process information. Not everyone can do that, but the top players and the really elite athletes are able to do that,” he said

“I haven’t spent loads of time with her on a tennis court but it wouldn’t surprise me if she picked things up extremely quickly.

“The last 18 months prior to the grass season and Wimbledon she didn’t compete a whole lot, which in some ways allowed her to make some technical changes to her game and develop.

“Usually around that age, 17 and 18-year-olds are competing a lot. They are on the junior tour and drip feeding into senior tournaments as well. Maybe that period gave her the opportunity to fix some technical issues in her game. She does seem to have improved her serve and forehand.”