CHARLES GRAHAM: Emma Raducanu sets new tennis benchmark

I’ve seen some amazing sporting feats over the decades but the way Emma Raducanu blitzed her way to the US Open title takes the laurels.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 8:34 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th September 2021, 8:36 pm
Emma Raducanu after winning the US Open

A virtual unknown until her fine run at Wimbledon before bowing out through illness (some were already writing her off as mentally frail after that), she was certainly one to watch for the future. But no-one thought she would be turning the tennis world on its head quite so quickly.

The 18-year-old tore her way from preliminary rounds through to the final without dropping a set and, in picking up the trophy, became the first qualifier in the history of the sport to win a Grand Slam event.

And it is the manner in which she notched up those victories which so impresses.

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Extremely powerful and fast, Raducanu has a geometrical brain that can accurately get the very best angles out of the court; and while there haven’t been many points in her fledgling pro career when she has been put under huge pressure by an opponent, she also seems to have great nerves to go with her smiling enthusiasm. She can take women’s tennis to a new high.

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