Emma Raducanu: British teenager has the ability to win more Grand Slams, according to Leif Shiras

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US Open champion Emma Raducanu can expect a tough challenge on the WTA Tour but the 19-year-old is still learning the game, according to tennis broadcaster Leif Shiras; “I do think there are opportunities for a number of women – including Emma – to win a second major”

emma raducanu

“Is it going to be a rough road for Emma Raducanu? Yes, it is. But she’s done it before and I think she has a taste of what she can do.”

Tennis broadcaster Leif Shiras has backed the British teenager to deal with the rigorous nature of the WTA Tour and land more Grand Slam success.

Emma Raducanu

Raducanu has endured a difficult start to the year which saw her battle coronavirus as well as blisters that hampered her progress at the Australian Open.

The 19-year-old then picked up a leg injury in Guadalajara but shrugged off injury concerns to play at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Despite serving for the match in the decider Raducanu missed out on a place in the last 16 after losing in the final set shootout to Croatia’s Petra Martic.
“People who aren’t tennis fans or sports fans say, Emma will win the calendar Slam she’s that great. If it were that easy, right? It just isn’t that easy,” Shiras told Sky Sports.

“For a young player like her there is going to be pressure. She’s under the microscope now and in the locker room they respect and admire her, but she’s suddenly become a very good win so everybody is going to be gunning for her.

“They’re going to be giving their best every time on the court, so she’s going to have to deal with people taking it on as a real challenge.

“She’s going to have to find her best tennis, more consistently, and that’s going to be difficult because she’s on a learning curve. There’s still a lot in her game that she can learn and we see that because she’s an emerging talent so her game has a few holes to fill in still.

“Jim Courier always said, ‘I enjoy learning from losing, you can really learn a lot, but I enjoy learning from winning’ so maybe she can learn while she’s winning. That’s the best formula.

“Five of the last nine Grand Slams have been won by first-timers so there is possibilities and there are a lot of players who can be favoured at majors. There’s no reason why Emma can’t do the same.

“Is it going to be a rough road? Yes, because there are a lot of experienced players who all want to get a piece of the action, so it’s going to be competitive. But she’s done it before and I think she has a taste of what she can do and because the game is not dominated so much like a Serena Williams, I do think there are opportunities for a number of women – including Emma – to win a second major.”

emma raducanu

For Raducanu, even the teenager admits there is more pressure on her than ever before following a rapid rise to success in such a short space of time.

Speaking at Indian Wells, she said: “Realistically before that (US Open) if you would have said to me last year, Emma, what is your goal for the year? I’d be like, Okay, I want to win one round in the main draw of a Grand Slam. I did that in Australia. That to me last year probably would have made my year, to be honest.

“What might be a poor result now in people’s eyes to me would have been a positive thing. I think I need to keep reminding yourself of that, not getting sucked in.

“I feel like now people are starting to realise it’s going to take some time for her to settle in. I feel like patience is a big thing. Once I settle in and go through all these highs and lows, I’ll find some sort of equilibrium.”

Stability is something Shiras believes will help Raducanu learn more about herself with coach Torben Beltz by her side.

The American feels now is the best time for the Kent teenager to add a few “layers” to her game as she looks to emulate the likes of world No 1 Ashleigh Barty, who has the ability to use lots of variety on court – more so than any other player on the WTA Tour.


“The longer you’re in the game the harder it is to change things, learn new things and feel comfortable with them. She is a young player and hopefully she can find time while she is competing to learn and add some layers to her game,” said Shiras.

“That’s something that Ash Barty does so well at the top of the game. She doesn’t give players what they want. The game is built around balls around shoulder height with lots of top spin and a fair amount of pace. Barty doesn’t give that to players and I think we’re starting to see more players play like Ash – adding a bit of variety.

“Anything that Emma can do to add those kinds of layers to her game, a little bit of variety, I think she’s got a willingness to come forward at the right times. I think her serve is going to get better. All parts of her game are going to improve and I think the results will too.”

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