Emma Raduka under pressure to deliver at Wimbledon 2022


Emma Raduka is set to return to the grassroots of Wimbledon next week as a Grand Slam winner – under pressure to end Britain’s 45-year wait for the women’s singles champion.

Twelve months ago, while running in the last 16 at the All England Club, the teenager’s eyes were turned away from the match against Australian Ajla Tomaljanovic due to shortness of breath.

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But her Wimbledon debut only proved a prerequisite for a surprise victory at the US Open in early September, where she defeated Lelah Fernandez in the final.

Qualifier Radukanu did not miss a single set at Flushing Meadows, becoming the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles crown since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977.

That victory led her to global stardom, in which she took advantage of her spectacular success in New York.

This is not a simple journey for the 19-year-old, who is currently ranked 11th in the world and has not won more than two matches in the tournament since.

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Raduka has been under investigation for his failure to settle on a long-term coach and has also struggled with fitness issues, as well as coronavirus.

But despite her early exits at the Australian Open and French Open, the pressure on her home Grand Slam will be intense.

Andy Murray ended Britain’s 77-year wait to become Wimbledon men’s champion in 2013, repeating the feat three years later.

Wait 45 years

But Wade’s victory at Wimbledon in the Silver Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II was the last time she had won at the British Women’s All England Club.

Radukanu’s Wimbledon preparations were hit when she was forced to retire from a first-round match against Victoria Golubic in Nottingham earlier this month.

The British number one, who is ranked 10th at Wimbledon, later dropped out of the WTA event in Birmingham and did not appear in Eastbourne.

This gives her even less time than a set of grass-court tennis under her belt before Wimbledon.

When Radukanu walked out of the second practice session scheduled with Garbine Muguruza on Friday, the side strain created more fear around her recovery.

Earlier this month she admitted that she did things “behind the scenes” by winning a Grand Slam early in her career as she settled into life as a full-time professional.

“It definitely comes with a lot of challenges to happen very soon,” she said.

“But managing, learning and growing the adversities I have faced, I will instead learn from those experiences and continue to build and progress.”

Retired British player Tim Henman, who sat on the court during Radukanu’s run for the US Open title, is advising her on how to cope with being a home star at Wimbledon.

“If you can’t control what is being said in the newspapers or on social media or on television, why worry about it?” Said the former Wimbledon semi-finalist.

“When you’re young and you don’t have the experience, it’s not always easy, but, when I think about her mental strength the way she played out of those 10 games in New York, she’s incredibly strong mentally,” he said. Said. Told the PA news agency.

“Her tennis ability is for everyone to see. The challenge for her is to increase this physical perseverance. But she is 19 years old, she has many opportunities ahead of her.

World number four Paula Badosa has urged British fans to resist the pressure on Radukanu to support life on the WTA Tour.

“She needs time and she needs more experience on the tour and she will get it. People have to stop putting all this pressure on her and on expectations,” she said.

“What he did was play very well in a Grand Slam and he won it, so you can see how good he is.”

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