Emma Raducanu: A rollercoaster 12 months as US Open champion
Since shocking the tennis world with her triumph at the 2021 US Open, British superstar Emma Raducanu has failed to match the heights of those mesmerising weeks in New York when she went on an astonishing 10 match win streak
As the tennis world takes a break for a few treasured weeks of rest before the new season kicks off in Australian as usual, Tennishead thought it was a perfect opportunity to take a breather and look back at the headline grabbing career of Emma Raducanu since April 2021.
Is there one reason why Raducanu hasn’t managed to win another title since lifting the Women’s Singles at the 2021 US Open? No. As always there are a variety of factors that all add colour and background to a professional tennis players record. Those wanting to say that Raducanu has failed to perform as well as she could will point to her propensity to change coaches and her regular injury breaks but others will point out that she’s always changed coaches regularly throughout her junior career and that, for someone so young, getting injured when trying to play as many professional matches as possible is just part of the job.
Join us as we remember all that’s happened to Britain’s number 1 female tennis player over the past 18 months…
- Aged 18, Emma Raducanu begins training with Nigel Sears, former head of women’s tennis at the LTA and former coach of Ana Ivanovic and Daniel Hantuchova.
- Raducanu makes her WTA main draw debut at the 250 level Nottingham Open as a wildcard. Ranked 366th, she loses to fellow Brit Harriet Dart in the first round.
- She enters Wimbledon on a wildcard with a ranking of 338.
- Raducanu makes headlines by reaching the fourth round before retiring against Ajla Tomljanovic with breathing problems.
- She finishes Wimbledon ranked 179th in the world.
- Raducanu parts with Sears, begins work with Andrew Richardson, one of her youth coaches.
- It is agreed Richardson will guide Raducanu through the US Open Series.
- Raducanu plays three US events in the lead-up to the US Open: a WTA 500 in San Diego, an ITF event in Pennsylvania, and a WTA 125 in Chicago, reaching the final there.
- Ranked 150th, Raducanu comes through US Open qualifying without dropping a set.
- She defeats Stefanie Vögele, Zhang Shuai, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Shelby Rogers, Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari in straight sets to reach the final.
- Raducanu defeats fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 to become the first qualifier, man or woman, to win a Slam in the Open Era.
- She rises to 23rd in the world to become British number one.
27th September 2021:
- Two weeks after the US Open, Raducanu decides not to extend her contract with Andrew Richardson
- She says according to Sky Sports: “I feel like at this stage in my career, and playing the top players in the world, I realised I really need someone right now that has had that WTA Tour experience at the high levels, which means that I’m looking for someone who has been at that level and knows what it takes.”
- Emma Raducanu enters Indian Wells without a coach but aided by former British number one Jeremy Bates.
- She loses in the first round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
- Raducanu claims her first career WTA tour wins at the Transylvania Open, defeating Polona Hercog and Ana Bogdan before losing to Marta Kostyuk.
- She announces Torben Beltz as her new permanent coach, the man who guided Angelique Kerber to her 2016 Australian Open and US Open titles.
- Raducanu ends her 2021 tour season at the Linz Open, losing to Xinyu Wang in the first round.
- She turns 19 on 13th November.
- Raducanu withdraws from the Mubadala Championship exhibition event on 14th December after contracting Covid-19.
- She ends the year ranked 19th in the world.
- Raducanu withdraws from the Melbourne Summer Set beginning 3rd January, citing her bout of Covid.
- She gets underway at the WTA 500 Sydney Tennis Classic, losing heavily to Elena Rybakina 6-0, 6-1.
- Seeded 17th at the Australian Open, Raducanu defeats 2017 US Open champion Sloan Stephens to reach the second round before losing to Danka Kovinic.
- Raducanu cites hand blisters on her right hand as hampering her ability to play.
- Raducanu retires in the third set of the first round of the Abierto Zapopan against Daria Saville.
- She subsequently withdrew from the Monterrey Open due to a ‘small left leg injury.’
- Raducanu competes in the ‘Sunshine Double’ of Indian Wells and Miami.
- She wins one match in Indian Wells but loses in her first match in Miami to Katerina Siniakova.
- Emma Raducanu competes for Great Britain in the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers.
- She loses to Marketa Vondrousova after suffering blisters on her right foot.
- Raducanu reaches the quarter-finals of the WTA 500 Stuttgart Open before losing to dominant world number one and eventual champion Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4.
- On 26th April, Raducanu splits from coach Torben Beltz after just five months working together, with a new LTA training model supporting in the interim.
- Raducanu gets two mins in Madrid but retires in the first round of the Italian Open after taking a back injury into her match with Bianca Andreescu.
- She loses in the second round of the French Open to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
- Raducanu returns at the Nottingham Open, but retires down 4-3 in the first round against Viktorija Golubic, casting doubt on her Wimbledon participation.
- She wins her first round match at SW19 against Alison Van Uytvanck before losing to former world number four Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-3.
- Raducanu begins working with former top 20 ATP pro Dmitry Tursunov, former coach to Anett Kontaveit and Aryna Sabalenka, on a trial basis.
- She reaches the quarter-finals of the Citi Open but loses in the first round of the Canadian Open to defending champion Camila Giorgi.
- In Cincinnati, she defeats a returning Serena Williams 6-4, 6-0 and Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-2 before losing to world number eight Jessica Pegula 7-5, 6-4.
- Raducanu enters the US Open ranked 11th in the world as defending champion, but loses to Alizé Cornet in the first round, her first opening round loss in a Slam main draw.
- She drops her ranking points from winning the 2021 title, falling outside the top 80 as a result.
- Raducanu reaches the semi-finals of the Korea Open before retiring in the third set with a left glute injury against top seed Jelena Ostapenko.
- Raducanu loses in the first round of the Ostrava Open to world number 11 Daria Kasatkina.
- She withdraws from the Transylvania Open and WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open citing a right wrist injury.
- The trial with Tursunov concludes without an extension, he joins Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.
- Fitness trainer Jez Green, who has worked with Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem in the past, joins Raducanu’s team.
- On 28th October, Raducanu withdraws from the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, again citing the right wrist injury.
- Raducanu ends her competitive season with a 17-19 win-loss record.
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