Emma Raducanu Australian Open 2022

Emma Raducanu handled ‘negativity from naysayers’ very well says Australian great

Grand Slam double’s legend Todd Woodbridge has been left impressed by the way British starlet Emma Raducanu has handled recent setbacks and criticism both on and off the court.

After her fairytale run at the US Open last year where she became the first-ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam, Raducanu has struggled to put together a decent run as she failed to win back-to-back matches in her first five tournaments of the year.

The 19-year-old has also faced lots of injury issues.

Most recently, ahead of her debut at the Rome Open, Emma Raducanu has said she is still “managing” a back injury which she picked up at the Madrid Masters last week.

In addition, only last month the Bromely born teenager split from her coach Torben Beltz after 5 months of working together – making it three different coaches in a nine month span.

This news sparked criticism from many pundits and analysts with one former British professional tennis player calling for her to be consistent in her coaching set up. 

However, the tide appears to have turned as she reached quarter-final at the Stuttgart Open and the round of 16 at the Madrid Open last week as she claimed she felt like she was back to her old self in the Spanish capital.

Todd Woodbridge, who won 21 Grand Slam doubles titles, believes there have been several positives for the teenager in recent months and he is most impressed by her ability to deal with the criticism.

Speaking in a recent interview the Australian great told reporters, “What has stood out though are some real positives in the way she’s handled herself by being thrust into such a huge limelight.

“Coming out and not being able to perform at that same level as winning a US Open, and still being able to cope with the disappointment of that, and the negativity from naysayers… I’ve been impressed about how she’s been able to go, okay, I am a work in progress, and I understand that what happened to me was brilliant, but I understand that I’m still emerging and everyone else has to understand that with me.

“It’s a really tough environment to be growing up in front of cameras, with everyone like us here having a discussion about her. I think she’s handled that as well as anybody that I’ve seen.

“She’s intelligent, she seems to be resilient, and she has this realisation that there is no need to panic about her results in the first few months following the US Open. More than likely, she’s going to drop back out of the rankings come the (2022) US Open, but that will be a moment where she’s actually, I think, ready to then go again.”

The Australian also believes that she will go well at the French Open, which should give her a boost for the grass-court season and Wimbledon.

“(Roland Garros) is probably going to be a good tournament for her. There was lots of focus on her and intensity in Australia (the first major after her US Open win). A little bit of that’s taken off her going into the French because results have shown we’ll be focusing on some other players. And it’s before Wimbledon, where that’s going to be very hard.

“So this is the one that she can go just a little bit under the radar and I think play more freely, and then potentially get some form to go over to the grass-court season with.”

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