Emma Raducanu predicted to win more majors by Olympic champion
Emma Raducanu has been given some advice by 2016 Olympic Champion Monica Puig, who thinks the young Brit will be a ‘force to be reckoned with’ over the coming years.
Raducanu shocked the world at the US Open in 2021, which was only her second ever major event, when she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.
The Brit had a more challenging 2022, as she was unable to make it past the second round of a Grand Slam, and was hampered by a variety of different injuries.
But, Puig thinks Emma Raducanu will be able to win more Slams in the future, “Absolutely! She’s still young. It’s a matter of time.”
“She won that US Open title having not played many WTA events and she hasn’t had a full calendar. She still needs time to develop and time to find out who she is as a tennis player, who she is as a person and I can sympathise with her.”
Puig, who retired last year at the age of 29 after numerous elbow and shoulder injuries, understands what it’s like to be thrown straight into the limelight. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she became the first unseeded player and Puerto Rican to win a gold medal.
Puerto Rican pride! ??
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) July 20, 2021
The 29-year-old has been offering Raducanu advice on how to handle the sudden uplift in fame, and spoke of the need to prioritise tennis over endorsements.
“She has a great future ahead of her if she is able to settle herself but once she does and she organises herself in the way that works for her, she can end up making great strides and doing some really great things. Now it’s just about that consistency day in, day out and believing that she can do it again,” said Puig.
“Those endorsement deals come with obligations and if you don’t meet those obligations the brand is not getting what they need out of you. The brand does need you to perform on court so you’re exposed, you’re out there, you’re promoting their things.”
“You can make more money off the court than on it, but on the court, it’s important to focus and dedicate all your time to your craft because that’s what got you there. At the end of the day, wins equal dollar signs and new contracts.”
“That’s what I ended up seeing in my own career, so I’m speaking more from experience. It’s a fine balance because I’m not saying don’t do it altogether because honestly, it’s impossible at this point. She needs to do these obligations contractually but focus on the tennis and the work and then do that.”
Puig added, “Remember the reason why you started playing tennis in the first place. It’s because of the love of the sport.”
The former No.27 believes that players like Serena Williams stepping away from the court gives the next generation, including Emma Raducanu, an opportunity to step up.
“We’re always seeing generational changes with players like myself and Serena Williams having now stepped away. The new generation that’s going to come and carry the torch for the future generation.”
“She [ Raducanu] is going to be in that circle of names that are going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Puig added.
Raducanu has played only two tournaments so far this year, turning her ankle at her first event of the season in Auckland before reaching the second round of the Australian Open, losing out to No.6 Coco Gauff. The British No.1 will return to action at the end of the month, after signing up for the inaugural WTA 250 in Texas.
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