Emma Raducanu warned she must ‘prove she’s good enough’ by Australian Open rival
Following her defeat to Emma Raducanu, Sloane Stephens has cautioned the British teenager that one of the hardest parts of being a Major winner is proving you are good to stay at the top.
While Raducanu and Stephens both have a US Open title to their name, their paths to those titles could not have been more different, so too their paths since.
Stephens won in New York in 2017, and while, like Raducanu, she was unseeded when she did so, it was her 23rd Slam appearance, having already reached a Major quarter-final and semi-final, both in 2013.
Since that 2017 US Open, Stephens reached another Slam final at the 2018 French Open, but has not been beyond the quarter-finals of a Major again, and is now ranked 67th in the world after peaking at third in July 2018.
“I know people compare us, but all we’ve got in common really is that we’ve both won the US Open,” Stephens told journalists after losing to Raducanu in Melbourne.
“If you think about the way she won it, that’s pretty backwards compared to mine, and that makes it so hard to manage.
“Also she’s carrying the whole country, so that’s different to my game entirely. So she’s got to learn to manage it and figure out what’s for her and what isn’t.”
— LTA (@the_LTA) January 18, 2022
Raducanu won the US Open last year having previously made just one Slam appearance, at her home Major, Wimbledon, winning three matches there as a wildcard.
Raducanu has not gone down the usual path of climbing up the rankings and building towards a Major title.
Instead, she has practically reversed the plan by winning a Slam so early, rocketing up the rankings, and building tour experience from there.
Stephens further explained that building such experience is a tough journey that Raducanu has ahead of her, particularly when it comes to backing up her biggest achievements.
“Because [Raducanu] is so young it’s definitely a long road, so there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs but she has a lot to learn,” the American said.
“She hasn’t been through much of anything yet. There’ll be some crazy experiences and the hardest part is trying to prove you’re good enough to even stay where you are.
“The more you try to prove, the more the emotions show. I don’t just mean this about Emma but we’ll be here when she comes down, too.”
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