Emma Raducanu ‘honeymoon phase over’ as Boris Becker says she is ‘miles away’ from deep runs at tournaments
Emma Raducanu is probably starting to doubt herself following her recent setbacks with Boris Becker saying she is “miles away” from not only winning tournaments, but reaching the latter stages of events.
Raducanu stunned the sporting world when she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam as she won 10 matches en route to lifting the US Open trophy in September last year.
However, she has won only four matches on the WTA Tour since her Flushing Meadows success as she has been hampered by illness, injury and blisters.
The 19-year-old made her Billie Jean King Cup debut for Great Britain over the weekend and won her opening rubber against Tereza Martincova from the Czech Republic before suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of former French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova.
The world No 12 struggled with blisters and, although frustrated, she feels her tennis is still at a “pretty good level”.
“Of course it is frustrating for sure” Raducanu said. “But in some sort of twisted way it gives me a sense of confidence and relief that I don’t think it’s my tennis that’s the issue.
“I think my tennis level is pretty good. It’s just about being able to repeat it or maintain it or not be hampered by any sort of physical issues.”
Former world No 1 Becker, though, says the teenager is far away from her best at the moment.
“The honeymoon phase is over, and the Brits are starting to worry,” he told Eurosport’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast. “You can lose, but if you’re always eliminated in the first or second round after winning the US Open, you ask yourself. How is that possible now?”
He added: “Emma won’t win every tournament, but you can always expect semi-finals plus or minus, but she’s miles away from that at the moment.”
The seven-time Grand Slam winner admits Raducanu will start doubting herself.
“Everything is much more difficult than it looks from the outside. Especially with the psyche,” he said.
“How do you deal with the pressure? How do you deal with your own expectations? What are you doing differently now than before?”
The German added it is “unusual that such a young, talented girl, who rose to the top of the world overnight and achieved world fame, has since only won matches that can be counted on one hand”.
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