Emma Raducanu US Open 2021

Lack of competition for Emma Raducanu during pandemic aided her rise, says Andy Murray

Andy Murray believes the Covid-19 lockdowns may have benefitted the game of Emma Raducanu and aided her stunning breakthrough. 

The 18-year-old shocked the tennis world by lifting the US Open title in New York in just her second ever Grand Slam appearance.

Now, Raducanu will return for the first time since beating Leylah Fernandez at Flushing Meadows as she looks to continue her form in Indian Wells.

Discussing her surge up the rankings, Murray believes her lack of competitive tennis during the pandemic allowed the British teenager to focus on fine tuning her game.

“The last 18 months prior to the grass season and Wimbledon she didn’t compete a whole lot, which in some ways allowed her to make some technical changes to her game and develop,” explained Murray.

“Usually around that age, 17 and 18-year-olds are competing a lot. They are on the junior tour and drip feeding into senior tournaments as well.

“Maybe that period gave her the opportunity to fix some technical issues in her game. She does seem to have improved her serve and forehand.”

The three-time Grand Slam champion also fired a warning to Raducanu’s opponents, saying that he wouldn’t be surprised if she continued to improve.

“Often what separates the elite athletes from that level just below is that ability to learn quickly and process information,” he added.

“Not everyone can do that but the top players and really elite athletes are able to do that.

“I haven’t spent loads of time with her on a tennis court but it wouldn’t surprise me if she picked things up extremely quickly.”

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.