Raducanu reacts to reaching the semi-final of US Open
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Emma Raducanu must avoid overextending herself and getting caught up in the sudden rush of interest from the media and tennis world amid her fairytale run to the US Open semi-finals, according to Judy Murray. The mother of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy, also a winner at Flushing Meadows, is confident in the teen’s ability, but added she must be wary of all the things going on around her off the court.
Raducanu has looked more and more impressive as the tournament has progressed, and dispatched the Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in straight sets to book a place in the last four.
Like so many who have watched on in awe, Murray is excited to see what the 18-year-old can do in the future.
But she also had a word of warning for the Briton, whose exploits in New York mean she will become Britain’s highest ranked active female tennis player.
Writing in The Telegraph, Murray said: “We have to be careful that we don’t overburden Emma at this early stage in her career.
“Having seen her up close at last year’s Battle of the Brits event in London, I am confident that her tennis will take care of itself.
“It’s everything else that she – and her team – need to be wary of. The difficulty for any outstanding teen lies in handling the the life and business of a professional player.”
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She added: “That’s where the people around Emma need to be savvy. There might even be times when they need to hold her back a little, if she really has the bit between her teeth and wants to push on to the next run of tournaments.
“She has the ability, the athleticism and the competitive spirit to be a key player on the tour for the next 15 years at least. There’s no need to go hell for leather just yet.”
Raducanu takes on Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari in the early hours of Friday morning UK time, with victory pitting her against either world number two Aryna Sabalenka or fellow teen surprise package Leylah Fernandez of Canada.
He dominant performances and fearless attitude have won her an army of fans, with even Piers Morgan changing his tune after criticising her for the manner of her Wimbledon exit earlier this summer.
While her results have surprised everyone, Murray warns it is only a matter of time until that changes.
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She said: “Emma is just coming onto the scene, so everything is new. It’s very easy to be daunted and distracted because there is so much going on. How you respond to it depends on your personality and your mindset.
“Some get overexcited, others are like rabbits in headlights and a happy few take it in their stride. Having calm, sensible and experienced people in your corner is crucial. People who understand the importance of focusing on long-term success rather than short-term gains
“Her opponents on the tour have found it difficult against a young player they know so little about. And that’s another thing that will change. There are many more eyes on her now and coaches will be scouting her strengths, weaknesses and tactical patterns.
“Emma will have to deal with that, plus the expectations of the media and her growing army of fans. It’s all part of evolving as a person and a player. But what a magnificent start she has made.”
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