“He Struggled to Get Accustomed”: Emma Raducanu’s Situation Compared to Pete Sampras

Published 11/23/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Oct 8, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Emma Raducanu (GBR) reacts after losing a point to Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports


Nineteen-year-old Emma Raducanu shocked the tennis world by making history this year. The British sensation became the first qualifier in history to win a grand slam title. She further etched her name in the history books by becoming the first British woman to win a major in 44 years.

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At the 2021 US Open, Raducanu didn’t drop a single set in all her matches. All the way through qualifying to the final at center court, the young breakout star displayed her stunning skills.

Putting the entire world on notice with her unprecedented US Open performance, the Brit has played in three tournaments since. However, she has been unable to succeed in any of them, with less than remarkable performances. Losing in Indian Wells, the Transylvania Open, and then the Linz Open, Raducanu has seemed to be struggling to find her footing since her victory in New York.

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Sep 11, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates with the championship trophy after her match against Leylah Fernandez of Canada (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Fellow British star Greg Rusedski has come out in support of Emma Raducanu. The former world number 4 compared her win to Pete Sampras‘s US Open win. He said to Express Sport, “As I said when she won the US Open, give her nine months to 18 months to adjust.”

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“I remember a young player by the name of Pete Sampras at 19 who won the US Open out of nowhere and nobody really knew who this kid was. It took him a good nine months to adjust to being in that situation.” 

Tennis publisher Randy Walker also spoke along the same lines.

Rusedski says there is no question that Emma Raducanu is going to have fantastic success

The off-season is the time to adjust to the hype and demands of Emma’s newfound stardom, according to Rusedski. He believes that Raducanu’s appointment of Torben Beltz as her coach is positive news. Beltz has formerly worked with grand slam champion and former world number 1 Angelique Kerber.

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FILE PHOTO: British tennis player Emma Raducanu poses during the world premiere of the new James Bond film “No Time To Die” at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Reminding people of Raducanu’s age, Rusedski remarked on how she must focus on maturing as a person, going forward. Additionally, he acknowledged what a whirlwind it is to go from being unknown to an overnight household name.

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“It’s a big transition but I think something she’s smart enough to handle. And if she’s well-managed and she puts a team around her that’s consistent for a long period of time, there’s no question she’s going to have fantastic success,” Rusedski said.

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Samarveer Singh

40 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. A collegiate athlete himself, Samarveer admires all sportspersons who put in the work in order to achieve excellence.

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