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Why Emma Raducanu is the future of women's tennis
Dec 9, 2021, 3:38:00 AM

Why Emma Raducanu is the future of women's tennis

Emma Raducanu surprised the tennis world when she broke through and immediately won the 2021 US Open. She won the Grand Slam event at only 18 years of age which cements her superstar potential. Let’s talk about why she’s the future of the WTA Tour.

Over the years, success in the women’s tennis world has been defined by the likes of Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, and many more. The women’s side of the sport has been filled with extremely talented players in the past but it has only improved as time progressed.

The current scene has proven that the inspiration can work because stars like Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka have taken over. Even if those two players are the biggest stars in the Tour as of late, there are new players who are looking to become the number one star in the WTA Tour rankings.

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Emma has limitless potential

Even if she won the US Open in mid-2021, some fans and pundits believed that her win was a fluke. Some people even believed that she has already peaked during the US Open win which is an absurd take. She is only a teenager which proves that she has so much more room for improvement. People who say that her success so far is a fluke were not watching her matches in 2021.

Emma is not only a talented player but she plays beyond her years. This kind of maturity is hard to find in young players because they play with too much eager energy. They take a long while to settle down and look at every match with a good perspective. Eagerness is certainly not a big issue but it can become a problem if the athlete is playing erratically.

As she continues to train at a high level, Emma will only improve. She has the coaches and training partners to compete at the highest level. With good coaches around her, you can see Emma becoming the number one player.

Former British tennis star Annabel Croft talked about how she sees the rising star to become the biggest name to watch in the foreseeable future. Now that Emma has confirmed that she will be coached by Angelique Kerber’s longtime mentor Torben Beltz, you can expect that Emma will have the right people around her.

Croft said, ‘I think with a new coach in place, I think she’ll be very good. He’s incredibly experienced, it’s early days. How long will they stick together? There’s a feeling that none of these coaches are going to be given long-term contracts so we’ll see how long it goes but I think she’s chosen somebody who is very experienced which is what she wanted’.

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2021 is a good barometer for her success

2021 was a strong year for Emma mostly because of her US Open win. It was her first year competing at the professional level and she already has a Grand Slam to her name. That is one of the most difficult achievements to win in pro tennis and she managed to do it in the first few months of her pro career.

While 2021 was a big season for Emma, you should expect her to have more seasons like this. Her play style lends itself for growth because not only does she play an offensive style but she also doesn’t have to risk too much when it comes to avoiding injuries. Her mix of conservative tennis and sudden aggression is what helped her win the US Open and she has time to improve upon that well-rounded style.

The US Open win will always be remembered because of her journey from the wildcard to eventually winning the title. However, that should be the only accolade that defines her career. You can expect her place in the WTA rankings to improve because her performances outside of the US Open were underwhelming.

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Emma has a good foundation

When it comes to her playstyle, Emma loves to play with aggression. She loves to hit the ball early on the rise and she redirects it in the opposite direction. When you watch Emma’s games, you can see her backhand shots as the best moves in her bag of tricks. They are reliable because she can switch up the power of the shots and turn it into points.

Of course, she has a strong forehand as evidenced by her serves. Her movement, court coverage, and speed are all elite. This foundation was built during her youth and it will only get better. Emma will continue to work on her playstyle and she will incorporate new tools to help her win more trophies.

With this foundation, Emma will be a strong player for years to come because she has all of the tools needed to keep up with all of the players in the Tour. She will have to play top stars like Barty and Osaka in the future and she has to evolve so she can match up to them.

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Many tennis stars believe Emma will be a superstar

Croft has also continued her praise for Emma as she believes that the youngster will become a world-class star. Croft said, ‘She’s going to be centre court every single match which in itself will give her a lot more motivation but she’s always going to have a target on her back’.

As icons of the sport, the Williams sisters’ opinions matter when it comes to new players breaking into the scene. Since Emma was a sudden star in 2021, even the sisters were surprised when she succeeded immediately.

They believe that young stars like Emma and Osaka will only improve as time goes on. They are even looking forward to playing against them. There will be stellar matches all around and it might even become the passing of the torch to Emma.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA