WTA

Raducanu making 'natural transfer' to tour life amid struggles, says Robson

By Sports Desk August 24, 2022

Emma Raducanu is making a "natural transition" to the WTA Tour, says former British number one Laura Robson.

Raducanu became a grand slam winner in just her second major appearance when she defeated fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in last year's US Open final, and the first qualifier to win the women's singles at Flushing Meadows.

Since then, the 19-year-old has cracked the top 10 of the WTA Rankings, but has otherwise endured a mixed run of form, with a last-16 exit in the Western and Southern Open her latest result ahead of a return to New York, while she has also changed coaches in a season that has so far failed to produce a trophy.

But Robson thinks they are mere teething troubles for Raducanu, arguing that her difficulties have been blown out of proportion.

"I wouldn't say she struggled," Robson told Stats Perform. "I think she's making it a natural transition to the main tour.

"Emma came through so quickly, then struggling to catch up to the day-to-day life of being a professional tennis player, which is a lot of time away from home, a lot of training weeks, a lot of travel.

"She hasn't been able to put that time in. I thought she played great last week in Washington, and unfortunately, had a very tough draw against Camila Georgi in the first round last night.

"But I think she's playing some great tennis. So, I feel when she's back on the courts at US Open, they really suit her and hopefully some positive vibes will help as well."

Robson, a former Junior Wimbledon champion in 2008, won the WTA Newcomer of the Year prize in 2012 after claiming a silver medal alongside Andy Murray in the mixed doubles at London 2012, but ultimately struggled with a succession of injuries before her retirement this year.

She is loathe to draw parallels between her own experiences and those of Raducanu but hopes time can be afforded to the youngster.

"I mean, I wouldn't even compare my situation to hers, because Emma came through so quickly that it feels like she's only just catching her breath," she added.

"She just needs time to manage her own expectations. I hope she's not even thinking about anyone else's expectations because they really don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

"I think she just needs a good amount of training work, which I know she has been doing anyway. And the results will come because they think she's an incredible ball striker and a great athlete as well."

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