Sue Barker

Wimbledon icon Emma Raducanu identifies the problem and tells Britain how to fix it.


The famous Wimbledon presenter and

When Wimbledon starts next week, it will be exactly three years since the 18-year-old Radukanu made his mark in the round of 16 at the Championships. Two months after his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, the Briton became the historic Slam champion after winning the US Open qualifier.

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In that time – in two months – Radukanu went from being considered the most talented player to becoming a tennis star and one of the most popular players in the game. But after things started to go wrong for Radukan, constant criticism started coming her way.

Raducanu’s return to Wimbledon in 2022 as the Slam champion was a big focus for her. But she did not perform well, she only made it to the second round before losing to Caroline Garcia in the second round. Britain’s former world number 10 did not play at Wimbledon last year because she underwent three surgeries in May.

Raducanu is a British player, so the spotlight will be on her at Wimbledon, but she hasn’t made it past the second round of a Grand Slam since the 2021 US Open and will certainly not be a favorite for the title at every English club. .

“After New York, I think people had unrealistic expectations because we know how many young people in tennis have been champions for the first time. [Bianca] Andreescu, [Jelena] Ostapenko, [Sofia] Backer, the 1976 French Open champion, told the Telegraph that Kenin – had to adjust.

“Media pressures are greater than they have ever been. But now all those expectations are down, I hope she starts enjoying herself again because she was a breath of fresh air when she first came into the scene at Wimbledon.

«If she learns to love playing again – instead of feeling like, ‘I have to win because otherwise I’ll get criticized’ – I think she’ll change everything.»

Sue Barker © Getty Images Sports – Ryan Pearce

Barker thinks that Raducanu has enough time for the tennis class but also for the social life

In the same interview, Barker spoke about the topic of mental health and specifically how Naomi Osaka and Ashley Barty have affected the modern tennis lifestyle.

But Barker isn’t buying that claim, pointing out that all good things come with sacrifice. And when it comes to Radukan, Barker believes the 21-year-old Briton has plenty of time for tennis but also some other non-tennis things.

“You know, there are sacrifices in everything in life. Today we don’t have to play like before. If you went to Australia, you should have made it worthwhile by staying there for eight weeks. If you went to America, you had to play six tournaments. Nowadays, you can go back, fly there, fly there, so you have a lot of downtime,» Barker explained.

«[For Raducanu] I know there are some injuries but I don’t think she has played that many tournaments this year. So you have time for that life and up. In fact, the rewards outweigh the sacrifices.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sports – Julian Feeney

Raducanu says she will win the Wimbledon title.

Raducanu may not have had any Slam success since the 2021 US Open, but recently said she is confident a Wimbledon victory will one day be hers.

«I feel good. I’m playing well and I’m training very hard, I’m doing a lot of good things and I know it’s going to happen. If not this Wimbledon, the next Wimbledon,» Raducanu told Grazia in May. .

«I’m fully back and I believe in myself. When is it really? I’m doing everything right so I’m looking forward to playing in front of a lot of people at home.»

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sports – Julian Feeney

After that statement, Raducanu reached the semi-finals of Nottingham in her first grass court tournament since 2022. And that week’s semi-final wasn’t the only positive as the 21-year-old left Nottingham fully fit.

“I just feel good, I feel strong. I don’t raise any niggles. Even at the beginning of this year, it’s been a good place for me to be able to get that match fit and be there day in and day out… I’m starting to trust my body more. I wouldn’t say I’m the finished product at all, but I’m getting there,» Raducanu said.

Raducanu is in Eastbourne this week and will play Sloan Stephens in the first round.

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