‘She doesn’t have the respect’ – Mats Wilander outlines what he expects from Emma Raducanu
Mats Wilander believes Emma Raducanu needs “a few more matches under her belt” to show other players what she is capable of and currently feels that she “doesn’t have the respect in the dressing room.”
Although, her monumental maiden Slam victory led to increased expectations from professionals, pundits and spectators alike.
The British sensation broke into the WTA top 20 and swept multiple prestigious awards last year, including the WTA Newcomer of the Year, BT Sport Action Woman of the Year and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
However, upon her return after the off-season Raducanu was beaten comprehensively by Elena Rybakina 6-0 6-1, losing in just 55 minutes. Raducanu also narrowly avoided a double-bagel, laughing when she finally got on the scoresheet in the second set.
Seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander told Tennis365 “the second week of majors is something she needs to be aiming at pretty much all the time.
“She doesn’t have the respect in the locker room yet though. You don’t win respect by winning one major and nothing else.
“Mentally it’s not that easy to suddenly create some kind of artificial confidence from winning a major.”
Swedish great Wilander won the 1982 French Open at just 17 years old, beating eight-time Slam ace Ivan Lendl in the process.
“I knew I had beaten the best players in the world along the way and my confidence level got really high. That was because I’d done something before I won the French Open as well,” Wilander recalled.
“For her [Raducanu], getting [to] the fourth round of Wimbledon was amazing, but I think she needs a few more matches under her belt so the locker room sees she can be good, even on her worse day.
“We were looking for stories on the women’s side of the game and then we had Naomi Osaka before Emma and Leylah Fernandez came along. The way they behaved on court stole everybody’s heart and it was too good to be true.
“Why did she win? (the US Open). Some of the players she faced along the way like Maria Sakkari, this was their chance and they couldn’t step up to the plate,” the Swede claimed.
“You can have a good two weeks on tour these days and it was much harder to do that years ago when power was not an issue.”
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