Chris Evert identifies Emma Raducanu’s greatest quality

Kevin Palmer
Emma Raducanu plays a shot
Emma Raducanu plays a shot

Chris Evert believes Emma Raducanu’s greatest strength will rise to the surface as she backed the British star to shine in 2023.

Raducanu produced one of her most encouraging tournament performances since her memorable 2021 US Open triumph as she reached the fourth round at Indian Wells last week.

Even though she was convincingly beaten by Iga Swiatek in the last-16, she is rising back up the WTA rankings and has earned a glowing endorsement from 18-time Grand Slam champion Evert.

While her ground shots caught the eye in her Indian Wells run, it is her mental strength that Evert believes will drive her back to the top of the game.

“I think the mental part and the physical part go hand in hand. I think the mental part is just as important, if not more important, than the physical part,” Evert told Eurosport.

“I don’t know her well enough, actually, to answer that question, but I think I see a little more determination in her eyes, and I know she’s not a flash in the pan.

“I think she is here to stay, and she is here to compete with the Cocoa and the top players. And she will I don’t know what her ranking is now, but she’s definitely going to be a top ten player.”

Raducanu continues to battle niggling injuries and the wrist problem that troubled her last year has been a concern once again in recent weeks.

Yet Evert suggests the acclimatization period Raducanu went through after her US Open win has now passed.

“She had tough go after she won the US Open and I don’t think she really knew what hit her after a while, and everybody was really gunning for her, and she played scared a little bit,” added Evert.

“I liked how aggressive and bold she was at Indian Wells and how she was hitting out on the ball and not afraid to go for her shot. She was really going for her shots and matching the power of some very powerful players.

“I think there’s been enough time since the US Open where she can take a deep breath now and she can say that was then, this is now, and this is what I need to do

“Hopefully she won’t be emotional about it and not let the pressure get to her.

“Now she’s starting from down here (in the rankings), and she has only one place to go, and that’s up.

“Her game won’t break down like maybe other players might under pressure. She’s very solid and very concise and moves well and plays athletic tennis.

“So I think she’s going to have a much better year than she had last year, even though it is tough on the tour now.

“Women’s tennis is so deep now. There’s not one player dominating, but there are a lot of players that on a given day could win a tournament and win a major.”

Raducanu reflected on her run in Indian Wells as a sign that she is making progress after a tough run in 2022.

Chris Evert commentator
Tennis legend Chris Evert

“I think overall, I can say it was a positive week for me and the team. I think we had a run of three really good matches,” she said.

“It was a good experience today playing Iga (Swiatek) on that court at night. I think the conditions are very slow and heavy and favoured her. But, yeah, it’s just good to see where I’m at.

“I think it’s been a good 10 days. I haven’t trained particularly much before the tournament, but I feel like I’ll probably take a day to recover tomorrow physically.

“Because since the tournament started, I have done a little bit of something every day. So I will reset a bit mentally and physically and then take it from there.”

READ MORE: Miami Open draw: Emma Raducanu handed nightmare opener

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