BORIS BECKER: Emma Raducanu is proving she is here to stay at the US Open – the British teenage star is playing at Flushing Meadows on her own terms and with a lot of courage
- Emma Raducanu has powered into the second week of the US Open in New York
- The 18-year-old British teenager faces Shelby Rogers in Monday’s last-16 match
- Raducanu is playing with a great deal of confidence after her Wimbledon issues
It has not taken long for Emma Raducanu to show that Wimbledon was no one-off, and that she is the real thing.
When she was playing on the grass I noticed how few weaknesses there were in her game, and now on the hard courts of New York she has proved it.
Not only that, but she is someone with charisma who carries herself so impressively, and most importantly she looks like she is enjoying herself.
Emma Raducanu is into the second week of the US Open and is playing at the top of her game
Raducanu, 18, appears to be enjoying herself on the court despite the pressure on her
She may have less experience than the rest of the field, but, as I know from my own career, being young and new to everything can give you a big psychological advantage. It is a nice feeling — you haven’t failed or disappointed yourself yet, and that is the position she finds herself in.
Of course it is no accident. I was a bit concerned when she chose not to carry on with an experienced coach like Nigel Sears after Wimbledon and wondered if she might lose her way for a bit, but she and her father seem to know what they are doing.
All the proof you need is in the results and Andrew Richardson, who is working with her at Flushing Meadows, must be doing a good job.
Something I like about Emma is that she seems to play each match on her own terms. The really good players do this, thinking about themselves first before worrying about what their opponent might or might not do.
The 18-year-old British star is playing on her own terms and with a lot of courage in her shots
Raducanu plays with a lot of courage and goes for her shots, so she is dictating the play. Rather than anticipating what is coming at her she is saying: ‘I’m going to do this, see what you can do about it.’
What can happen over the next week? While there have, broadly, been fewer upsets on the women’s side the answer remains: anything. All of those who have made it to the second week are entitled to think they have a chance of winning, which is not the case with the men.
Naomi Osaka and Ash Barty going out early were big surprises, but there are still a lot of good players left in and some have experience of winning Grand Slams.
I have no wish to pile expectations on the 18-year-old Brit but none of them will relish the thought of coming up against someone who is improving at a rapid rate and has it all before her.
TSITSIPAS HAS A LOT TO LEARN
It has been a brutal learning week for Stefanos Tsitsipas and I hope that he takes the lessons on board.
He is sure to become a superstar of the game, but his reaction to the furore surrounding his bathroom break habit was not good, even though he is far from the only player who has abused this rule.
Stefanos Tsitsipas exited the US Open after losing to Carlos Alcaraz in round three on Friday
Andy Murray is arguably the most respected figure in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms, an elder statesman who is listened to when he says something. So when you get called out by him for cheating you probably need to look at yourself and accept that he might have a point, rather than becoming over-defensive.
I have been talking to a few fellow players from my era and we are baffled about where this thing about leaving the court has come from. We were already in the era when it was recognised you need to take a lot of fluid in during a match, yet us going off court was something that happened rarely and was certainly not routine.
Clearly there has been a lot of talk going round the locker room about how often Tsitsipas has been using it as a tactical manoeuvre. It took Murray to experience it and then to speak out to put this at the top of the agenda.
Tsitsipas clashed with Andy Murray in round one before losing to the Spaniard two games later
The rule has been too vague and is going to need tightening up, because it has been left to spiral out of control.
After Wimbledon I wrote that I thought Andy Murray should try to play until the end of the year, and then get clear what he is still trying to achieve in the game.
Seeing how he played against Tsitsipas was a pleasant surprise that made you think he should definitely continue on into next season.
Of course he has never forgotten how to play tennis or lost his touch, but his physicality was so impressive in nearly beating one of the best players.
Murray, meanwhile, played some of his best tennis despite going down to Tsitsipas last week
That was the best I have seen him play since his hip problems emerged. It left me much more optimistic that there is still going to be more to come from one of our most compelling players.
This past week has turned into a showcase of so much that is good in tennis. Has there been a Grand Slam first week with so many great matches, added to by the presence of a crowd?
Every day has produced one nail-biter after another. Wimbledon was an interesting event with some good storylines, but so far this tournament has been on a different level and has reminded me why I am a fan.
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