Next week, Emma Raducanu will have the opportunity to return to the grass courts of Wimbledon as a Grand Slam champion. She will be under intense pressure to break Britain’s 45-year wait for a woman to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon.
The young woman drew attention to herself during her run to the round of 16 at the All England Club a year ago, but she was forced to retire from the match she was scheduled to play against the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic due to issues breathing.
However, her performance at Wimbledon was simply a warm-up for her unbelievable victory at the US Open in early September, when she prevailed against Leylah Fernandez in the championship match.
Because Raducanu, a qualifier, did not lose a single set at Flushing Meadows, she became the first British female player to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977. Wade was the last woman to accomplish this feat.
That triumph catapulted her to international celebrity, and she began to cash in on her astonishing success in New York by signing a slew of endorsement agreements.
Since then, the 19-year-old, who is presently ranked 11th in the world, has not won more than two matches in a tournament on more than one occasion.
Raducanu has been under criticism for a number of reasons, including the fact that she has been unable to decide on a permanent coach, that she has suffered with fitness concerns, and that she has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
However, in spite of her early eliminations at the Australian Open and the French Open, the pressure she faces in the Grand Slam tournament held in her native country is certain to be severe.
Andy Murray was the first British man to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title in 2013, and he went on to win it again in 2016. This ended a drought that had lasted for 77 years.
However, Wade’s victory at Wimbledon in the same year that Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Silver Jubilee is still the only occasion that a British woman has been victorious at the All England Club.
Earlier this month, Raducanu’s Wimbledon preparations took a hit when she was forced to withdraw from her first-round match against Viktorija Golubic in Nottingham. The match was scheduled to take place earlier in the month.
Following this, the British number one, who is now ranked as the 10th seed at Wimbledon, withdrew from the WTA tournament that was being held in Birmingham, and she did not compete in Eastbourne.
Because of this, she will enter Wimbledon with less than one set of experience playing tennis on grass courts under her belt.
As a result of Raducanu’s withdrawal from a planned second practise session with Garbine Muguruza on Friday, further concerns were raised over the extent of the side injury she is suffering from.
Earlier this month, she revealed that she had gotten things “backward” by winning a Grand Slam so early in her career as she adjusts to life as a full-time professional player. She was speaking about how she had won a Grand Slam so early in her career.
She said that there would be a great deal of difficulty to overcome if it were to take place so quickly.
“But overcoming the challenges that I have encountered and developing as a result of those experiences is something that I would much rather have.” “I would much rather have that, learn from those experiences, and keep improving and making progress.”
Tim Henman, a retired British player who was courtside throughout Mihaela Raducanu’s run to the win at the US Open, has been giving Raducanu advice on how to deal with the pressure of being the home favourite at Wimbledon.
You can’t control what others say about you in the newspapers, on social media, or on television, so why worry about it if you can’t control it? Noted the player who has previously competed at Wimbledon.
According to what he said to the PA news agency, “When you’re young and you haven’t got the experience, it’s not always easy.” However, “when I think of her mental fortitude with the way that she played in New York going through those 10 matches,” he said, “she is really strong psychologically.”
“Her prowess on the tennis court is not hidden from anybody. To achieve this level of physical toughness is going to be a struggle for her. However, she is just 19, which means that she still has a lot of options available to her.
Paula Badosa, who is ranked fourth in the world, has encouraged Raducanu’s supporters in the United Kingdom to reduce the amount of pressure they are putting on her and has expressed confidence in her ability to adapt to life on the WTA Tour.
She needs more experience on tour as well as more time, and she will have both of those things in the future. “People need to stop placing all of this pressure and expectation on her,” she added. “She can’t handle it.”
The fact that she won a Grand Slam after playing quite well there demonstrates how talented she is.