Emma Raducanu faces a ‘steep learning curve’ according to Judy Murray

Emma Raducanu talks to the media

Mother to Andy and Jamie Murray, Judy Murray, has said that British No 1 Emma Raducanu has a “steep learning curve” ahead of her despite having already won a Grand Slam in her breakthrough season.

The 19-year-old made a massive impact last year at Wimbledon when she managed to make it to the round of 16 despite being an unknown wildcard and then she went on to win the US Open just two months later.

Raducanu was also named BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday for her meteoric rise in the sport, beating off competition from the likes of Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, Premier League footballer Raheem Sterling and Olympic gold medallist Tom Daley.

However, 2022 will be her first full season on the WTA Tour and tennis coach Murray thinks this will take a lot of adjusting for the young British sensation.

“The next 10 months will be completely different to anything she has experienced in her fledging albeit incredibly exciting career,” the Scot wrote in her column for the Daily Telegraph.

“It will be a steep learning curve on the women’s circuit as she adjusts from the relative anonymity of an A-Level schoolgirl to the dog-eat-dog world of week in, week out tour tennis.

“Add to that the expectation and demands of fans, media, sponsors and agents and you can see how her life has changed out of sight since winning the US Open.”

Raducanu was due to play a one-off women’s match in an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, but she was forced to pull out after testing positive for Covid-19.

This also raised fears about whether she’d have enough time to properly prepare for the Australian Open which starts January 17 as she doesn’t want a repeat of last year when she was inconsistent across tournaments – winning at Flushing Meadows but losing the opening round at the Linz Open.

But Murray is pleased that the 2022 SPOTY winner now wants to concentrate on developing her game.

“I was so pleased to hear her say she wants to prioritise the development of her game and work on her fitness in the build up to the Australian Open,” the 62-year-old revealed.

“Her tennis is already in such a good place, but it’s important that we don’t heap expectation and pressure on her.

“Let’s give her time and space to grow her game and get to grips with what the pro tennis circuit will demand of her.”

Raducanu is due to play her first game on the 2022 WTA Tour on January 3 at the Adelaide International which kicks off the Australian summer of tennis.