Emma Raducanu reacts after reaching US Open final
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Everyone involved in tennis, whether a player, a pundit or a fan, has an opinion on who is the greatest men’s player of all time. Not everyone chooses to share their view publicly, but Emma Raducanu was once more than keen to put hers out into the world.
Tied on 20 Grand Slam titles apiece, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all have a reasonable claim to that title – though the latter’s dominance on clay compared to the more spread-out success of the other two usually means the Spaniard is counted out.
Federer is in the twilight of his career and missed the US Open with yet another injury after being knocked out of Wimbledon at the quarter-final stage earlier this summer.
Djokovic could move clear of his rivals by winning the US Open this weekend – sealing a historic Calendar Slam in the process – which would give him to right to claim the ‘GOAT’ moniker based on success in major tournaments.
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But it appears tennis’ next big star, Britain’s Emma Raducanu, firmly has her feet in Federer’s camp.
She referred to the Swiss as the greatest of all time on Instagram, in a caption attached to a snap of her posing for a selfie with the tennis icon at a past Wimbledon tournament.
Raducanu has made history in New York this week by becoming the first qualifier ever to reach the final of a Grand Slam.
After a surprise run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in her maiden major tournament, she has blown away all who have faced her at Flushing Meadows, including Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari in the semi-final.
She now faces fellow teen Leylah Fernandez – another shock finalist who knocked out Naomi Osaka and second seed Aryna Sabalenka in earlier rounds – in a straight shootout for the title.
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Raducanu’s meteoric rise has seen her gain a swathe of fans online, many of whom spotted the selfie with Federer on her Instagram account.
Some took the opportunity to hint at the idea of one tennis legend close to retirement passing the mantle on to another future champion.
“Next #Goat in the making,” one commenter replied.
Another said: “And now you’re in final of US OPEN!!!!!”
A third jokingly added their own caption: “Raducanu pictured with a fan.”
And a fourth added: “Both my fave icons… one past one present.”
Raducanu’s US Open final match against Leylah Fernandez will be played on Saturday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
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