Racquetball Betting

Retiring Williams ‘will always have some kind of involvement’ in tennis

Emma Raducanu is playing better tennis now than when she won the US Open last year, according to six-time major champion Kim Clijsters.

Britain’s number one Raducanu enjoyed a meteoric rise at Flushing Meadows last year, becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam as she pulled off an upset victory in New York.

She went 10 straight without dropping a set, beating the likes of Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari before seeing Leylah Fernandez in the final.

Struggling form and injury prevented the 19-year-old from really building on the momentum of that triumph, with the world No. 11 posting a modest 13-15 record in her first full year on the tour.

Nonetheless, she picked up notable victories over Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in Cincinnati last week ahead of her US Open title defense, which begins against Alize Cornet in the first round.

And former world number one Clijsters sympathizes with Raducanu, who she says needs time to adjust to life in the upper echelons of the sport.

“She’s already done a lot more in preparation for the US Open than she did last year, she’s beaten a lot of good players,” Clijsters told Reuters.

“She is maturing as a tennis player. I think her tennis is better now than it was when she won the US Open.

“When you have such a life-changing experience – and I’m not talking about what happens on the pitch, but everything on top of that, even if it doesn’t change, the people around you do. .

“People look at you differently. People on the circuit look at you differently, whether she goes to a tournament in Luxembourg or Australia. Everyone knows her.

“It takes time to get used to these big changes in life. The expectations on her are so unrealistic because when you play a sport, you go out and you have an opponent trying to win as hard as you are. “

While Clijsters believes the teenager would do well to successfully defend her title, the three-time US Open winner is confident she will rise to the challenge.

“Will she win the US Open? It would be amazing if she did, but there are a lot of other players who have as much chance as her,” said Clijsters, whose latest success at the US Open dates back to 2010.

“So it’s just going to be a matter of seeing if she deals with that emotion of being at the slam and the expectations that come with that? She could be super excited to be there and then play really freely and without any pressure.”