Virginia Wade says ‘smart, intelligent’ Emma Raducanu needs ‘a couple of learning years’

Emma Raducanu plays a shot

Virginia Wade believes Emma Raducanu should be given space to learn with the tennis great saying the tennis community should not “expect anything spectacular” from the teenager in the next few years.

Raducanu announced her arrival at the top level in tennis in the most spectacular fashion as she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam, winning 10 matches without dropping a set en route to lifting the US Open title.

That victory came just a few months after she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on her major main draw debut.

Her early career success has seen her surge up the WTA Rankings and she finished the year at No 19, having started outside the top 300.

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Wade, who was the last British woman to win a Grand Slam before Raducanu’s Flushing Meadows heroics, warned the teenager that she will have a “target” on her back after her brilliant campaign.

“There are an awful lot of very good players and she’s got a target on her now. They all desperately want to beat her,” the three-time Grand Slam winner told Radio Times.

Wade, though, also pleaded for patience with the 19-year-old as the tennis great says Raducanu should be given time and space to improve.

“She’s very smart, intelligent, well-balanced, serious. She really applies herself. She problem-solves on the court,” she said.

“We don’t need to expect anything spectacular in the next few years. Give her a couple of good, steady, learning years.”

On the back of her US Open success, Raducanu has enjoyed success off the court as she has signed sponsorship agreements with Tiffany & Co, and Dior while she also attended numerous high-profile events like the Met Gala and premiere of the Bond film, No Time To Die.

Wade added: “Getting all these endorsements can turn these young players’ heads.

“You’ve got to remember you got [deals] because you’re a good tennis player, and not for any other reason.

“So you’d better stay being a good tennis player.”