Emma Raducanu news: Boris Becker on how US Open champion can improve
Boris Becker believes Emma Raducanu should be “throwing herself into the thick of the tour” and play more tournaments if she is to improve as a player.
On the back of her fairytale run at the US Open when she became the first qualifier to win a major, there was plenty of focus on Raducanu at her Australian Open main draw debut this year.
After beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round, Raducanu was stunned by the Danka Kovinic from Montenegro in the second round.
The 19-year-old has struggled to put together an extended run of matches since her Flushing Meadows success as she lost her opening matches at Indian Wells and Linz last year while she also suffered a first-round defeat in Sydney this year.
Raducanu admitted it was back to the drawing board after her Australian swing and former world No 1 Becker says she should be entering as many tournaments as possible as it will help her grow.
“I remain a big fan of Emma Raducanu and am still convinced that, in the long run, she has everything it takes to be a multiple winner of majors and a genuine superstar,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“Her preparations for Australia were interrupted and after her second-round defeat she was hinting that she might go back and put in some extra time training to get herself stronger.
“This slightly worries me because what she needs — both to improve herself physically and to become a better player — is to play more tournaments, not fewer.
“In short, she should be planning on having a busy schedule, throwing herself into the thick of the tour and tackling the smaller and medium-sized events that make up most of the circuit.
“Forget the Grand Slams and what happened last year for a while, what she needs is to build up a bulk of experience and realise there is no substitute for playing matches.
“These are what will make her tennis-fit and give her the know how to compete at her best at the majors. There may have been reasons for it but getting blisters on your hand is a sign you have not been competing enough at maximum intensity.
“Of course, there will be discussions about her commercial activities. It happened to me, it happened to someone like Serena [Williams] and it happens to everyone who breaks through at a young age. What you have to remember is that if you are successful on court everything else will look after itself and you are going to make a lot of money.
“Her court position had been pushed back at Melbourne and she did not have the same belief that she displayed in New York. Also, of course, players have been watching and working out what works best against her.
“There is no need for Emma to worry in the long term, she just has to get out there and play. [Rafael] Nadal set a good example by playing a smaller event before the Australian Open — so learn from the best.”
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