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Emma Raducanu

Former British Number one compares Emma Raducanu to Pete Sampras

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Greg Rusedski has compared Emma Raducanu winning the US Open at just 18-years old to Pete Sampras’ same feat, but feels she needs “nine to 18 months to adjust.”

19-year-old Emma Raducanu incredibly won the US Open as a qualifier earlier this year, however she has since struggled for both form and consistency on the WTA Tour.

The teenage champion lost in the first round of the Indian Wells Masters to Aliaksandra Sasnovich and the second round of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz to Xinyu Wang.

Although, she did reach the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open and became only the fifth British woman to break into the WTA top 20.

Speaking with Express Sport, US Open finalist Rusedski said he feels Raducanu needs up to a year and a half to adjust and compared her monumental Grand Slam to Pete Sampras also winning the US Open at just 19 years old.

“As I said when she won the US Open, give her nine to 18 months to adjust.

“I remember a young player by the name of Pete Sampras at 19 who won the US Open out of nowhere and nobody really knew who this kid was. It took him a good nine months to adjust to being in that situation.

“And I think with Emma (Raducanu), let’s not forget she hadn’t even won a match on the WTA Tour until a few weeks after the US Open, her second event, so everything’s new.

“So I think adjusting to all the demands, all the hype, and making sure she has her team solid. It seems like that’s in place now, so this off-season is going to be important, and I think she’ll adjust.

“Let’s not forget she’s just turned 19 years of age, what are most 19-year-olds doing around the world?” Rusedski laughed.

“You’ve got to look at it, she’s put all this spotlight on herself because of her brilliance as a tennis player but she’s got to mature into the person she wants to become, and on top of that she’s got to be comfortable because it’s a whirlwind almost being unknown to probably being a global superstar.

“It’s a big transition but I think something she’s smart enough to handle. And if she’s well-managed and she puts a team around her that’s consistent for a long period of time, there’s no question she’s going to have fantastic success.”

Raducanu will feature at the Royal Albert Hall Champions Tennis exhibition event in preparation for next season. The match will be her first match under the guidance of newly-appointed coach Torben Beltz and her first in Britain her US Open win.

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Emma Raducanu
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