Emma Raducanu handed rankings boost as Bryan brothers back her to bounce back

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu’s flag will remain aloft outside the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in London for now, as she will remain as Britain’s No 1 tennis player for now.

The home of British tennis hoists flags depicting the women British No 1s in their reception area, where a replica of Raducanu’s US Open trophy also sits in a trophy cabinet.

Raducanu’s first round defeat at the US Open ensured that last year’s champion in New York will tumble down the provision WTA rankings, with a slide to around 80 likely to be confirmed when the new rankings are released on Monday week.

Yet she will not be dethroned as British No 1 just yet, after Harriet Dart crashed out of the US Open after a disappointing performance on Tuesday.

Dart pulled off the best victory of her career in round one against 10th seed Daria Kasatkina but was outhit in a 6-4 6-0 loss to Hungary’s Dalma Galfi.

It was a small consolation for Raducanu, who has vowed to climb back up the WTA rankings and she has been backed in that mission by two of the game’s greats.

The Bryan brothers dominated the doubles game as they won Grand Slam titles galore and speaking to Tennis365 at an All Court Tennis Club event, they suggested the dethroned US Open champion has what it takes to bounce back.

“It happens in all sports when you have increased expectations and pressures,” Bob Bryan told Tennis365.

“She is not spending so much time on the court now. She has photo shoots and sponsor commitments. That’s all part of growing up and becoming a superstar.

“She is going to get better at dealing with that as she grows up and gets more experienced and I think you are going to see her solidify herself in the top ten next year.

“She has got the game. We saw what she did to Serena Williams in Cincinnati. All the potential is there and it’s all about putting it together day after day.”

Mike Bryan echoed those sentiments, as he suggested the teenage star has what it takes to rise back to the top of the game.

“For her to come through qualies and not lose a set all the way through was incredible,” he said, reflecting on her 2021 fairytale in New York.

“She is a very smart and articulate lady. What she says on the mic is brilliant and people can really connect with here.

“She is really, really likable and she has done great things for the sport. We are always rooting for her. And Leylah Fernandez as well. That match for women’s tennis was cool.

“I’m sure she can come back. You don’t win a Grand Slam title by luck and I believe we will see Raducanu back at the top of the rankings sooner rather than later.”

Niggling injury and illness certainly has not helped her this year, and trying to avoid that in future will be a key priority.

“If I look at how much tennis I played this year, or training I’ve done, it’s very, very minimal,” she said.

“We actually counted the days. From Rome to a bit after Wimbledon, I only played tennis for 14 days in two months and a half or something. It was pretty wild.

“Six weeks of training, already I feel like I’m so much better as a player. I definitely feel like I am growing in confidence.

“I think the most important thing for me is just consistency of these weeks, of training, of competing. You lose a match, you’re on the practice court two days later.”

Raducanu is next scheduled to compete in Korea next month, and hopes she can quickly put this loss behind her.

“In the past, I would get really, really down because I wasn’t used to losing,” she said. “I think this year has definitely helped in a way.

“I know I can’t really mourn over a loss. I kind of got better at just picking myself back up quicker and quicker. But this one obviously hurts a bit because it’s my favourite tournament and obviously a lot of emotions in the past year.

“I’m proud for putting myself out there every match, every day. I know I’m pushing myself to be the best I can.”

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