Raducanu continues teenage rampage at the US Open with emphatic win
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Emma Raducanu is currently in fine form at the US Open. The 18-year-old experienced heartbreak at Wimbledon earlier in the year but, on the other side of the planet, is making the headlines. And, after she beat Shelby Rodgers on Monday, more details of her elite mentality have surfaced.
Raducanu was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon earlier in the year, suffering breathing difficulties due to apparent anxiety on court.
But she’s bounced back in style at the US Open so far, with the 18-year-old taking the competition by storm.
She went into Monday’s clash with Rodgers looking to make the last eight of the competition, having failed to drop a set.
And the teenager continued her impressive start with an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 victory – despite losing the opening two games of the match.
Now, British player Naomi Broady has opened up on Raducanu’s amazing mentality and revealed a private request the youngster made that shows she’s cut out for life at the highest level.
“Emma and I were hoping to play some doubles together over the grass-court season and I said to her, if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask them,” she said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“She asked me if she should play mixed doubles alongside women’s doubles and singles at Wimbledon. This was before the wildcards were announced, so she didn’t know if she was getting one or would be playing any of those events.
“Her thoughts were: hold on a minute, if I’m doing really well in singles and I’m into the second week, I might be too tired with the mixed doubles.
“It just shows the foresight and the belief that, even before she knew the wildcard or the draw, she could get through to the second week.
“She is already so wise.
“She’s got that self-belief before she’s even gone into her first Grand Slam and it’s why I’m not surprised or shocked with what she is doing out there.”
Broady also thinks Raducanu could end up being British No 1 sooner, rather than later.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if she becomes British number one by this time next year, even perhaps by the grass-court season,” Broady added.
“Her level has just shot through the roof since she’s been out in the US.”
Raducanu herself, meanwhile, has admitted her US Open experience ‘feels surreal’.
“It definitely feels surreal. I didn’t expect to be here at all,” Raducanu said.
“I feel very confident in my game and with each one I am growing and learning new things.
“I was watching my name and face on the big boards at the back of the court and I couldn’t believe it was me.
“Playing an American at her home Slam, I could still hear my name being chanted. I was super happy and grateful for the support I received.”
Rodgers, on the other hand, fears death threats after her defeat.
“Obviously we appreciate the spotlight in those moments, but then you have today and I’m going to have nine million death threats and whatnot,” she lamented.
“It’s very much polarising, one extreme to the other very quickly.
“You could probably go through my profile right now – I’m probably a ‘fat pig’ and words that I can’t say right now.
“But, it is what it is. You try not to take it to heart, and it’s the unfortunate side of any sport and what we do.”
Raducanu is now into the last eight.
And she’ll go up against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in the next round.
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