TRACY AUSTIN: Emma Raducanu’s inner belief and mindset can win her the US Open title – she has a complete game and she must trust in it
- Emma Raducanu takes on Leylah Fernandez in the US Open women’s final
- Raducanu has a complete game and seems very composed and confident
- My one piece of advice would be don’t change a single thing in your routine
This is a Cinderella story that transcends sport and will inspire kids worldwide.
Both Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez have captured the imagination of the American public, not just tennis fans. I can only speak for the States but I’m sure it is the same in Britain and Fernandez’s home country, Canada.
Emma has a complete game – she seems very composed, poised and confident in herself. She has battled through nine matches already – you only need to do seven to win a major, normally! But that is not a bad thing, she will feed off the momentum she has gained match by match. She’s young, free and hungry for more.
Emma Raducanu has a complete game and seems very composed and confident on the court
The reason she has done so well is her baseline play is so good – she hits the ball so early and quickly. Her returns are so good, aggressive and they put pressure on her opponents. Her serving has been so accurate and she has an aggressive style.
Emma has this inner belief and trust in her game, she manages to bounce back whatever the score is.
Both of the players seem so fresh and excited to just be out there. They don’t have a history so they go out and play with such freedom.
Emma’s return is quite spectacular, she times her shots so well. But it is her mind that will win her this title.
Emma’s returns are quite spectacular, but it is her mind that will win her the US Open trophy
Playing in a final is different, it’s a lonely locker room – just her and Leylah – but Emma must think about only the match.
Don’t think, ‘Oh my gosh I am in a major final and my life is going to change so much’. Just think, ‘How do I beat Leylah, what do I need to do to win this next game?’.
If I had one piece of advice for both of the players on the day of a big final, it would be to not change a thing in your routine. Emma has been here for three weeks now, she will have a settled routine and must keep it.
Think in a micro sense not macro – it’s just a match of tennis, don’t think about what might come after. They have both been huge underdogs in all of their matches, but now all of a sudden they are level and both will think they can win. They must not let that change their mindsets.
Both Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez (pictured) have been huge underdogs but have won
After this, they will always be known as a US Open winner or finalist – they will go into matches as the favourite.
But there is something beautiful about playing with freedom, it is all brand new and exciting. Right now they just need to enjoy this beautiful moment. I got to the quarter-finals at 14, it was such a fairytale story.
Youngsters will watch this Cinderella story and see two girls who were not well known outside of the tennis world before this going so far. Young girls – and boys – will watch this and think, ‘I can do that too!’.
So it could have a seismic impact on tennis. It’s really unprecedented.
Tracy Austin was talking to Lewis Steele.
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