US Open: Judy Murray says Emma Raducanu 'should not be written off'

Judy Murray Emma Raducanu

Judy Murray believes Emma Raducanu has what it takes to win back-to-back US Open titles, but has stressed it would also be beneficial if the reigning champion is unsuccessful.

The British number one will return to Flushing Meadows this week and there is a lot riding on her performance.

Raducanu risks dropping outside the world top 80 if she loses her opening match. But Murray is confident this would not be a negative thing for the teenager who won a Grand Slam just weeks after receiving her A Level results.

“There is no doubt she has the capability to astound us all again but if she were to make an early exit at the US Open, and drop back down the rankings, I firmly believe it could be the making of her,” the tennis coach wrote in her latest column for The Telegraph.

“What she did last year was totally unexpected, and what has followed has been an absolute baptism of fire in terms of learning how to handle everything that goes with becoming a major champion on and off the court.

“Being in the public eye is not easy for anyone and the constant recognition, expectation, praise and criticism — not to mention the demands for your time — have been never-ending since she won. Her world literally changed overnight.”

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – FEBRUARY 05: Captain Judy Murray supports Johanna Konta of Great Britain against Ipek Soylu of Turkey during day two of the Fed Cup/Africa Group One tennis at Syma Event and Congress Centre on February 5, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for LTA)

Indeed, Raducanu had been on the WTA Tour for just three months before she made history at the 2021 US Open.

She made her main draw debut at the Nottingham Open in June, before turning heads at Wimbledon.

Raducanu reached the fourth round at the All England Club and excitement around the potential of her career started to build.

After her stunning journey to Grand Slam glory at the US Open, the youngster was catapulted into the spotlight and it wasn’t long before brands were scrambling to work with her.

Following her success in New York, Raducanu signed endorsement deals with the likes of Dior, Evian, and British Airways. This impressive portfolio saw her fortune rise to a handsome £12 million after previously having just £44 in her company bank account.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11: Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada during their Women’s Singles final match on Day Thirteen of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Since her Flushing Meadows fairytale, the 19-year-old has struggled to recreate her title-winning form and she has also suffered with a series of injuries this year.

However, despite external criticism, Raducanu has admitted she is not putting pressure on herself ahead of this year’s US Open, and is willing to rebuild if needs must.

“If I lose 2,000 points, so be it, I’ll start again from the bottom,” she said earlier this month. “I know I can do something that no one else has done. 

“I qualified and won the US Open, so I can start from the beginning, I can start from zero and I’m not afraid of that.”

Emma Raducanu French Open
Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates a point against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus during the Women’s Singles Round 2 on Day Four of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 25, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Murray is also on board with this attitude. She believes the world number 11 and her coaching team should be breaking down her targets to make things more manageable while she is still such a young player.

“From a coaching point of view, ranking targets can provide structure. If your player makes the top 100, the next step you look at is simple: what does a top-50 player need to be able to do to succeed and what kind of training and tournament schedule will work best to add in those elements?”

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Emma Raducanu

When did Emma Raducanu make her WTA Tour main draw debut?

But despite encouraging Raducanu to manage her expectations, the former coach of Andy and Jamie Murray has full confidence in the teenager’s ability to perform on the biggest stage.

“Nobody should write her off in New York. We have all seen what she is capable of. She has a great game, is a tremendous athlete and she has got a smart, level head on her.

“I know there is loads more to come from her. But she is a work-in-progress, so whether that happens this fortnight or in a couple of years really does not matter.”

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