Andy Roddick believes the toughest challenge for Emma Raducanu in 2022 will be the “expectation” on her, as he outlined what he thinks a successful season will be for the British No 1.
Raducanu caused one of the biggest shocks in tennis history in the summer as she came through qualifying to win the US Open without dropping a set.
She has played three tournaments since then and won just two matches. Her last outing at the Linz Open saw her lose in the first round to Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu.
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While Raducanu’s stunning success in New York has seen her touted as a future world No 1 and multiple Grand Slam winner, Roddick next wants to see more consistency on a week-to-week basis.
“The hardest thing in sport in my opinion is expectation,” the former world No 1 told Tennis Channel.
“What she did at the US Open was unbelievable but it was largely without the expectation of ‘if you don’t win this final it’s bad for you’. It was all gravy from the third round on for her, without taking anything from her.
It is a different type of pressure set now … what I want to see is those consistent weeks where she is winning three or four matches every week.
"That would be the next benchmark if I am on her team, getting the consistency dialled in so that our baseline is top 20 in the world and our upper echelon is what you did at the US Open, which we were all amazed by.”
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Raducanu will round off her 2021 season by competing at the Champions Tennis event at the Royal Albert Hall from November 25. She will head to the exhibition event with new coach Torben Beltz in her box for the first time.
Former world No 1 Jim Courier thinks Raducanu has the quality to challenge for more silverware next season.
“Who’s to say she won’t make a deep run? I could easily see a semi-final and maybe further next year, but I think the semis is a good benchmark if I am on her team to target.”
Roddick on Grand Slam race
Roddick also spoke about the battle between Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to win the most Grand Slam titles.
All three are currently tied on 20 majors but Djokovic and Nadal could soon move ahead with Federer seemingly out of action for most of next season. The next chance to win No 21 will be at the Australian Open in January, although Djokovic is still uncertain if he will travel to Melbourne as players will need to be vaccinated to compete.
“Having seen the toll on the bodies and bodies breaking down, Novak seemingly has the longest runway and has been playing the best consistently for the last five, maybe even 10, years,” said Roddick.
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“And he only got better this year. I don’t think you can say that about Rafa or Roger at this point in their careers.
"Novak still has to be the favourite but this new wrinkle where Rafa comes in and the route to the Australian Open title doesn’t have to go through Novak … I don’t think Rafa is the favourite, regardless if Novak is there or not, but there is a serious wrinkle.
“I don’t think the days of Roger winning Grand Slams are still here. I would love to be proven wrong but that’s a serious uphill battle.”
Djokovic was beaten in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in three sets by Alexander Zverev on Saturday.
Zverev followed up the result by winning the tournament for the second time with victory over world No 2 Daniil Medvedev in the final.
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