Eighteen-year-old British Emma Raducanu became the first tennis player to win a Grand Slam title after qualifying. In the final of the US Open, she won over a year older Canadian Leylah Fernandez after sets 6:4 and 6:3.
London – British tennis player Emma Raducanu has been going through a difficult period since her triumph at the US Open 2021 and sometimes wishes she hadn't won the Grand Slam less than two years ago. The former world number 10, who won in New York at the age of 18, told the Sunday Times that she was extremely naïve at the time and later learned about the dark side of tennis. The Toronto native is currently recovering from wrist and ankle surgery, which will also see her miss Wimbledon in July.
“When I was celebrating on the court then, I felt like I would do anything in the world for this moment,” said Raducanu. “Since then, there have been a lot of failures. One after another. I'm resilient and very tolerant, but it's not easy. And sometimes even now I think: I wish I'd never won the US Open,” said the British tennis player.
Although the victory made her famous, it also put her under a lot of pressure. She had to grow up and mature quickly. “When I won I was still extremely naive. But in the last two years I realized that the tour and everything that goes with it is not a very nice, trustworthy and safe place. You have to be always on your guard because there are a lot of sharks ,” Raducanu recounted.
She also came across people who tried to use her talent. “I think people in the industry, and it's also because I was 19 and now I'm 20, see me as a piggy bank. It was hard to navigate, I got burned a few times. I learned to have as little as possible around me a circle of people,” she said.
The young British woman is currently without a coach, after less than six months she ended her collaboration with Sebastian Sachs. It has already changed its fifth coach in the last two years. Since then, Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson, Torben Beltz and Dmitrij Tursunov have taken turns at her side as coaches.
Raducanu played her last competitive duel in mid-April in Stuttgart. Due to injury, she missed Roland Garros, and after surgery on her ankle and both wrists, she will also miss Wimbledon. “The pain got worse last summer after Wimbledon. I started working with a new coach and had the motivation to keep going. But we overtrained. And I continued despite the pain because I didn't want to be behind the weak,” Raducanu added.