Emma Raducanu unhappy at Wimbledon breathing difficulties

“Unfathomable” Martina Navratilova slams Emma Raducanu decision and predicts 2022 struggle

Illustrious doubles partners Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver feel Emma Raducanu may struggle with the changes that will come following her shock US Open win.

British sensation Emma Raducanu shocked the world when she became the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam title, winning the US Open at just 18 years old.

Raducanu achieved this monumental feat without dropping a single set against some of the world’s best in World number six Maria Sakkari and Swiss Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic.

As a result of her historic breakthrough season, Raducanu broke into the WTA top 20 and swept multiple prestigious awards. These awards include the WTA Newcomer of the Year, BT Sports Action Woman of the Year and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

When predicting how the 2022 season will play out, Navratilova and Shriver told the WTA that they both feel Raducanu will struggle to adapt to life on the tour after her phenomenal Flushing Meadows victory.

Navratilova said “it’s going to be hard for her this year. Players have seen her, they know what to do against her. But most of all, she just needs matches. She’s the biggest wildcard for me. Because clearly, she has the ability to play great tennis.

“Can she replicate it consistently enough? Eight WTA-level tournaments in her life? That’s half a season. I’d go into Wimbledon with 10, 12 matches under my belt.

“It’s going to be so much to handle physically, playing more matches, but everybody’s going to be gunning for her – that’s the thing that’s going to look good on their resume.

“And the pressure’s going to be on her emotionally, as well. Being a Brit, she’s under a huge microscope, and it’s hard to get away from it.

“We’ll see. Coaching uncertainty, too. To me, that she let go of the coach that got her to the US Open was unfathomable. I really don’t get that.”

Similarly, Shriver said “I think 2022 is going to continue to be a challenge for her. I think it’s going to be 2023 when we have a clearer idea of what her consistency level is going to be.

“I might be wrong, but it was such a sudden, unnatural step from qualifying to winning a major – never been done before – followed up by all these new business partnerships, recognition and coaching changes.

“The only thing that has remained the same is her name, the sport she plays and her agent. I feel like everything else around her has changed, and when you’re a teenager you’re already going through a lot of changes.

“I’d be surprised if she’s still in the Top 20 at the end of the year.”

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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.